STATEN ISLAND, NY – Fraudulent internet scams from privacy and data security, digital media, internet service providers and manipulation companies were the first consumer complaint filed with the Attorney General’s Office in 2021.
“From inaccurate turnaround times for COVID-19 test results to misleading debt collectors, scam artists have taken advantage of these trying times to mislead and deceive New Yorkers,” Attorney General Letitia James said.
James’ office released a list of the top 10 consumer complaints his office received last year and internet-related scams accounted for 8,346 complaints.
The top 10 complaints filed in 2021 were:
- Internet – 8,346; internet services and service providers, data privacy and security, digital media, data breaches, internet manipulation fraud.
- Owner/Tenant – 3,144; security deposit releases, tenant-harassment.
- Retail sales – 2,678; price gouging, faulty merchandise, poor customer service, pet stores and animal breeders.
- Consumer services – 2,610; COVID-19 testing facilities, alarm companies, dry cleaners, restaurants, movers, services for personal household use.
- Automotive – 2,283; sales, service, financing and repairs.
- Credit – 1,539; debt collection, credit card billing, debt settlement and debt relief, payday loans, credit repair, credit reporting agencies and identity theft.
- Utilities – 1,145; cordless and residential telephones, repairers and suppliers of energy, cable and satellite.
- Home repair/improvement – 1,034; repair problems and misleading contractors.
- Health clubs – 778; inability to cancel memberships, inability to access facilities, refunds not provided and no response from clubs.
- Furniture/appliances – 611; faulty goods, delivery problems, and service and repair issues.
The Attorney General offered advice, such as never re-using a password, ensuring all signed contracts comply with agreed terms, knowing your rights as a landlord/tenant and how to report price gouging and other activity potentially fraudulent.
“Let this list serve as a warning to all New Yorkers to be on their guard against scammers,” James said.
“My office is committed to rooting out fraudsters and protecting all New Yorkers, young and old, from harm. Consumers have been invaluable in helping my office identify and root out fraud, and I urge them to remain vigilant and follow this advice,” continued James.
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