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Attorney General Josh Stein Shares the Top 10 Consumer Complaints of 2018

RALEIGH, NC (January 23, 2019) — Attorney General Josh Stein today announced the top 10 consumer complaints that his office received in 2018. In the course of investigating the 19,022 complaints submitted to the North Carolina Department of Justice in 2018, NCDOJ secured refunds of more than $3.3 million for consumers.

“There are always scammers trying to trick people into sharing their personal information or giving up their hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This behavior isn’t just wrong, it’s illegal. My office will do everything in our power to investigate and resolve consumer complaints for North Carolinians and educate people on how to protect themselves from scams and frauds.”

Attorney General Stein also released the North Carolina Department of Justice’s 2018 annual report today, which discusses the Department’s work to protect consumers from scams and frauds, protect North Carolinians from crime, and defend the state of North Carolina and its people. In 2018, NCDOJ won more than $73 million in settlements and court awards on behalf of North Carolina and its people and saved taxpayers more than $88 million in legal fees.

“Our 2018 annual report highlights the Department’s work to protect North Carolina and its people from crime and fraud,” said Attorney General Stein. “I’m incredibly proud of the work hundreds of NCDOJ colleagues have done to prevent crime, support law enforcement, safeguard consumers, and defend North Carolina, its people, and their constitutional rights.”

The top 10 consumer complaints received in 2018 are:

  1. Elder fraud: Elder fraud covers a variety of scams that target vulnerable senior citizens, including sweetheart, IRS, and grandparent scams. NCDOJ received 4,035 complaints of elder fraud, and $2.3 million was refunded to victims of elder fraud.
  1. Telemarketing & Do-Not-Call: Telemarketing issues include unauthorized telemarketing scams, charitable solicitations, and violations to the Do Not Call registry. NCDOJ received 1,663 telemarketing and do-not-call complaints.
  1. Motor vehicles: Motor vehicles complaints involve car rentals, buying or selling new or used cars, failures to disclose car damages, recreational vehicles, and auto repair issues. NCDOJ received 1,551 motor vehicle complaints.
  1. Lenders: Lending complaints include concerns about mortgage lenders, creditors, and debt adjustment practices. NCDOJ received 1,144 lending complaints.
  1. Home repairs: NCDOJ received 1,077 complaints involving home improvement and repair, construction, and home and lawn care.
  1. Price gouging: NCDOJ received 942 price gouging complaints after Hurricanes Florence and Michael and the winter storms that hit North Carolina in 2018.
  1. Healthcare: Healthcare-related complaints cover health services and products, as well as professional services from hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers. NCDOJ received 784 healthcare complaints.
  1. Telecommunications: Telecommunications complaints involve concerns with cellular providers and telephone utilities. NCDOJ received 701 telecommunications complaints.
  1. Cable TV and satellite: Our office handles complaints against cable TV and satellite service providers with a state-issued franchise. NCDOJ received 614 cable TV and satellite complaints.
  1. Credit: Credit-related complaints involve credit reporting, recovery, and collecting agencies. NCDOJ received 597 credit complaints.

North Carolina consumers can visit 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 our Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.