#5 Collection Agencies 410
#6 Nigerian Money Schemes 365
#7 Internet Retailers 305
#8 Auto Repair 255
#9 Sweepstakes / Prize Promotions / Foreign Lotteries 222
#10 Construction Contractors 209
"Due to 2003 budget restrictions, we have cut back on our consumer education outreach programs, resulting in consumers being less able to identify, avoid and report fraud in the marketplace," Myers said." "A direct result is 4,000 less complaints being filed in 2004."
In 2004, 10,934 consumers filed written complaints with the Attorney General's consumer protection office. Of those filed in 2004, 3,667 were filed electronically: 3,026 through the Justice website; 534 via the federal Internet Fraud Complaint Center; and 107 through the National Fraud Information Center. More than 4,500 Oregonians reported fraud through the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database.
The complaint category of collection agencies (third party collectors) continued its climb up the Top 10 List by going from number six to number five. Internet retailers dropped from number five to number seven and auto repair dropped down a notch on the list from number seven to number eight.
Reporting of the Nigerian Money Transfer Scheme increased bringing one of the oldest continuous scams "up the ladder" from number ten to number six. On the Top 10 List for the first time in many years are Sweepstakes/Prize Promotions/Foreign Lotteries and Construction Contractors (includes licensed and unlicensed).
Complaint categories that did not make the Top 10 Listing this year but whose numbers are in the hundreds include business to business, junk fax, magazine subscription agents, furniture stores, gasoline stations, "phishing" on the Internet for financial information and travel.
Consumers wanting more information about consumer protection in Oregon may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) and toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
The FTC's Identity Theft hotline is toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502; by mail at ID Theft Clearinghouse, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580; or online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.