Know your rights, avoid becoming a victim of scammers

National Consumer Protection Week is a great time each year to remind consumers that con artists are seeking new ways to target consumers and steal their money. Thousands of Arkansans contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office every year to ask for assistance with legitimate business disputes and sometimes to report scams or suspected fraud. In conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a Consumer Alert to announce the 10 most common types of complaints fielded by the Attorney General’s Office during 2014.

“The hardworking lawyers, investigators and staff of the Consumer Protection Division work every day to provide information and reach positive outcomes on behalf of Arkansas consumers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By providing information on the most common types of scams, consumers can be better prepared to avoid these con artists.”

The 10 most common complaint categories from 2014 were:
1. Automobile sales, service, financing and repair 2. Credit services, credit repair, and other financial services 3. Health care 4. Wireless and landline telephone services 5. Debt collection 6. Home improvement, repair and construction 7. Utilities 8. Landlord/Tenant 9. Mortgages, foreclosures and home financing 10. Payday lending and other predatory lending practices

For three straight years, automobile-related transactions have been the most common type of complaint reported to the Consumer Protection Division. These automobile-related complaints often involve consumers reporting financing errors, high-pressure tactics to buy add-on services at the time of purchase, such as gap insurance, credit life or extended warranties, and sales misrepresentations.

The credit and financial services category is the second most common complaint for the second year in a row. This category includes credit repair complaints, issues with credit reporting, and complaints about credit cards and banking and financial services in general. The third most common complaint in 2014 was health care related disputes. Consumers report problems with medical equipment sales, medical billing from doctors, hospitals, and clinics, and unauthorized Medicare enrollment and prescription drug costs.


For more information visit: www.ArkansasAG.gov. Consumers can also contact the office via the Consumer Protection hotline at (800) 482-8982.

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