NY Attorney General's Office releases Top 10 list of consumer complaints and scams

On Monday, state Attorney General Letitia James released a list of the Top 10 consumer complaints from 2023. The top three issues on the list include retail sales (5,569 complaints), housing (3,900) and car buying (3,553).

Jonathan Gordon

Mar 4, 2024, 11:01 PM

Updated 41 days ago

Share:

Price gouging, landlord/tenant disputes and online banking fraud are just a handful of issues thousands of New Yorkers reported to the New York Attorney General's Office last year.
On Monday, state Attorney General Letitia James released a list of the Top 10 consumer complaints from 2023. The top three issues on the list include retail sales (5,569 complaints), housing (3,900) and car buying (3,553).
“With families struggling to make ends meet, consumers expect and deserve quality products and services for their hard-earned money," New York Attorney General Letitia James said.
The rest of the list is highlighted by banking scams, consumer services, Internet, utilities, home improvement quotes, travel and entertainment.
"I urge New Yorkers to stay vigilant, and to keep my office informed about scams and violations of consumer protection laws," James said.
TOP 10 CONSUMER SCAMS REPORT TO THE NYAG'S OFFICE IN 2023
  • Retail Sales (5,569): Online purchases, price gouging, retail sales, defective merchandise, poor customer service, pet stores, and animal breeders
  • Landlord/Tenant (3,900): Security deposit releases, evictions, tenant-harassment
  • Automobile (3,553): Sales, service, financing, repairs
  • Credit, Banking, and Mortgages (3,215): Debt collection, credit card billing, debt settlement, payday loans, credit repair, credit reporting agencies, identity theft, banking, loan modification scams, mortgage lending and servicing
  • Consumer Services (2,699): Alarm companies, dry cleaners, restaurants, movers, storage facilities, services for personal or household use
  • Internet (2,570): Internet services and service providers, data privacy and security, digital media, frauds through internet manipulation
  • Utilities (1,922): Wireless and residential phones, energy servicers and suppliers, cable, and satellite
  • Home Repair/Improvement (1,371): Repair issues, deceitful contractors, solar panel installations
  • Travel (873): Airline customer service, flight cancellations and refunds
  • Entertainment (533): Events, concerts, ticket sales
Yonkers-based Consumer Reports Financial Policy Advocate Chuck Bell said nothing on the list was surprising but it's how large it is that's concerning.
"There's lots of different ways that consumers can get ripped off and everything goes right to the bottom line," Bell said.
Bell said consumers can protect themselves by not being overly trusting with people they don't know, being wary of pitches asking for them to re-enter their passwords or other sensitive data, reading the fine print to check for hidden fees, and if something does happen don't be afraid to speak up and report the issue to police, county consumer affairs department, or public service commission.
"All of it adds up over time, so I think consumers have to protect themselves with virtually everything that they're buying and selecting, so it's a lot of work for the individual purchaser," Bell said.
Consumer Reports is working with the state Attorney General's Office to strengthen New York's consumer protection law. Improvements would include tougher penalties for committing fraud and having a wider range of activities covered as fraudulent.


More from News 12