How are Michiganders scammed the most? AG releases Top 10 list

Michigan's attorney general's office is out with its annual Top 10 list of consumer complaints.

LANSING - Debt collection and other credit and financial scams or misbehavior remains the top complaint to the Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection bureau, the office said in a news release today.

In 2016, the office received 1,217 complaints on that issue, the news release said.

The other top 10 issues Michigan consumers complain about, in order: Telecommunications and TV, such as robocalls and telemarketing; vehicle complaints, such as disputes with car dealers and repair shops; retail; internet, such as complaints about online purchases; service providers such as tax preparation; landlord-tenant complaints; contractors; health providers; and gas and energy complaints, with gas stations the top complaint.

Related: BBB identifies top scams using new 'Risk Index'

In a statement, Attorney General Bill Schuette said "protecting consumers from scams continues to be one of my top priorities."

The complete list from the AG's Office, with more detail:

Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories of 2016

  1. Credit and Financial Concerns: The top complaint category for 2016 holds on to the spot that its held since 2006, generating 1,217 complaints in a variety of areas including debt collection and reporting, credit repair, payday lending, and mortgage brokering. Schuette’s Consumer Alert on Debt Collection and Debt Collection Scams details prohibited debt collector practices and provides tips on avoiding scams and disputing bogus debts.
  2. Telecommunications, Cable, and Satellite TV: Stays at the second spot for the second year. This category includes complaints involving issues like robocalls, telemarketing, wireless communications, and cable and satellite TV services.  Complaints in these categories exceeded 700 in 2016.
  3. Motor Vehicle and Automobiles: Moving up one slot from the number 4 spot in 2015, disputes with used car dealers continue to top this category, with other top complaints involving motor vehicles and car bodies, new car dealers, and repair shops.
  4. Retail: Moving down from the third spot last year, this category includes complaints about general merchandise and furniture stores, business services, eating and drinking places, and computer stores.
  5. Internet: Staying at the fifth slot for a second year, complaints in this computer-based category numbered nearly 600. More than a third of these complaints involved online purchases while other complaints include computer communication services and issues with internet service providers.
  6. Personal Service Providers: Staying at number 6, complaints in this category range from dating services and beauty shops to home security, tax preparations services, and health and fitness organizations.
  7. Landlord and Tenant: Also holding its spot from 2015, this category again had more than 400 complaints. A majority of the complaints in this category involved apartment owners and managers.
  8. Contractors: Moving up a spot from last year's list, are complaints about residential building construction services, landscaping services, and special trade contractors.
  9. Health Service Providers: Moving up one spot from 2015, this category involves nearly 400 complaints about different health service providers like doctors, dentists, hospitals, and medical clinics.
  10. Gasoline, Fuel, and Energy: Not surprising with this year’s continued lower gas prices, this category dropped down from last year’s No. 8 spot, with complaints against gasoline service stations dominating this category in 2016.

© 2017 Lansing State Journal


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