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AG offers tips for consumers

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has released the list of the top ten consumer fraud complaints received in 2010 to mark the start of National Consumer Protection Week.

“Arming consumers with information is the best defense against frauds and abuses,” Schneiderman said. “The crime scene of the 21st century is the Internet, and it is important for consumers to not only know their rights, but how to fight back.”

The top ten consumer complaints are:

• Internet: 7,024 complaints involving privacy issues, spyware and consumer frauds;
• Credit: 5,455 debt collection, credit card billing and debt settlement;
• Consumer-Related Services: 3,817 security systems, restaurant/catering and tech repairs;
• Automobile: 3,661 buying, leasing, repair, service contracts, rentals;
• Landlord/Tenant: 2,009 residential repairs, deposit releases, tenant-harassment;
• Mortgage: 1,927 mortgage and loan broker fraud, foreclosures;
• Retail Sales: 1,364 any sale of goods such as food, clothing, rent-to-own;
• Home Repair/Construction: 1,299 home improvement services not delivered or done poorly;
• Mail Order: 1,266 purchases made online or from a catalog;
• Telecommunications: 1,202 phone cards, cellular services, pay-per-call.

Tips are available at the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ny.gov

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