Attorney General Josh Stein recently shared the top 10 consumer complaints his office received in 2019.
Last year, people in North Carolina filed 14,462 consumer complaints. In the course of mediating those complaints, NCDOJ secured consumer refunds of nearly $580,000, of which more than $293,000 went to refund elder fraud victims.
“Bad actors are always trying to use fear and confusion to take advantage of people,” Stein said. “Their actions are unconscionable and often illegal. My office will continue to investigate consumer complaints and do everything in our power to hold scammers accountable and make North Carolinians whole again.”
The top 10 consumer complaints of 2019 are as follows:
1. Telemarketing/Do Not Call: Telemarketing complaints are related to robocalls, spoofed calls and calls that violate the Do Not Call Registry. NCDOJ received 1,545 complaints. In August, Stein unveiled the Anti-Robocall Principles, an agreement between 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies to fight robocalls through prevention and enforcement. 2. Lenders/Credit: Lender and credit complaints involve issues with mortgage lenders, creditors, debt adjusters, credit reporting and recovery, and collection agencies. NCDOJ received 1,477 complaints.
3. Motor Vehicles: Motor vehicle complaints involve issues related to car rentals, sales or purchases of new and used cars and car repair issues. NCDOJ received 1,381 complaints.
4. Elder Fraud: These cover a range of scams targeting older adults, including imposter and sweetheart scams. NCDOJ received 1,249 complaints. The NCDOJ helped to secure more than $293,000 in refunds to victims.
5. Home Repair: Home repair scams involve home improvement, construction and care. NCDOJ received 1,215 complaints.
6. Health Care: Health care complaints include health services and products, as well as hospital, doctor and healthcare-provider services. NCDOJ received 783 complaints.
7. Cable TV/Satellite: These are related to cable TV and satellite service providers with a state-issued franchise. NCDOJ received 780 complaints.
8. Landlord-Tenant: Such complaints involve disputes over the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. NCDOJ received 680 complaints.
9. Telecommunications: Telecommunications complaints involve issues with cellular providers and other telephone companies. NCDOJ received 675 complaints.
10. Home Furnishings/Appliances: Home furnishing and appliance complaints include issues with furniture companies and appliance repair. NCDOJ received 421 complaints.
North Carolina consumers can visit www.ncdoj.gov to learn more about ways to protect themselves from scams and fraud. If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division at www.ncdoj.gov/complaint or by calling 877-5-NO-SCAM.