In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week (March 6-12, 2016), Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced the annual Oregon Department of Justice’s 2015 Top 10 Consumer Complaints. For the first time, a new category of consumer complaint, auto repair, appeared on the list.
Imposter scams, telecommunications and motor vehicle sales also took the top three spots this year. But, unlike the previous two years, magazine subscription fraud did not take top billing. Last year, the Attorney General sued 19 companies and 9 individuals who operated a nationwide newspaper and magazine scam based out of White City, Oregon. She eventually obtained a temporary restraining order to stop the enterprise from doing business in Oregon. And now, the deluge of magazine subscriptions has slowed to a trickle.
The full list of top ten consumer complaints can be found here:
- Imposter Scam Calls (2,357 complaints)
- Telecommunications (824 complaints)
- Motor Vehicle Sales (554 complaints)
- Financial Services (509 complaints)
- Magazine Subscriptions (461 complaints)
- Health Related (395 complaints)
- Auto Repair (355 complaints)
- International Money Transfer Schemes (308 complaints)
- Home Ownership Issues (304 complaints)
- Collection Agencies (281 complaints)
“I’m proud of the work we have done to fight for Oregon consumers,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “But, more work must be done to educate consumers about the signs that something is a scam, and to run more fraudulent businesses out of our state. Every year, it seems we see a new harmful scam emerge–which means our work is not done.”
Oregon has one of the most successful consumer protection and education programs in the country. The entire program operates exclusively on funds recovered from businesses that break the law.
In 2015, Oregon DOJ reached a number of important settlements, including settlements that put money back in the hands of Oregon consumers. Under the terms of a settlement with LCD screen manufacturers, Oregonians, as well as state and local government entities that purchased a television, computer monitor, or laptop with an LCD screen at any time during 2002 through 2006 may be eligible for money back. (To see if you may be eligible, visit www.oregonconsumer.gov.) Oregon DOJ also successfully sued a company that offered illegal car title loans and last month, a Multnomah County judge ordered nearly $320,000 dollars in frozen assets from the company to go back to Oregon consumers and banned the company from operating in Oregon.
Last year, Attorney General Rosenblum also released the “6 Signs It Is A Scam” publication, designed to show the signs that something is a scam. The hand-out can be downloaded here. If you think you have fallen victim to a fraud or scam, contact the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or call 1-877-877-9392.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002