- Foreclosure issues
- Problems with home repairs after disasters
- Sweepstakes scams and other frauds targeting elderly consumers
- Business opportunities and work-at-home offers
- Violations of do-not-call and other telemarketing rights
- Among the most interesting new types of problems reported to agencies were: an offer for a payday loan that was actually a line of credit to spend at an online shopping mall; mortgage assistance scams perpetrated by individuals who are part of the “sovereign citizenship” movement and claim not to be subject to the law or the courts; charges for disputing bills; a website posting misleading information about individuals’ traffic convictions and offering to remove it, for a fee; third party billing intermediaries holding up deposits of payments and charge-backs for cancelled transactions; rent payments being stolen from drop-boxes at apartment complexes and mobile home parks; door-to-door meat sales out of the back of a truck; and timeshare resale “splinter cells.”
- While budget cuts and limited resources continue to squeeze many state and local consumer protection agencies, they faced other challenges as well: dealing with disasters; maintaining and improving services; serving diverse populations; and keeping up with the evolving nature of fraud.
The survey report provides real-life examples of complaints from the agencies’ files and tips for how consumers can protect themselves. CFA also has tips, videos, and other consumer education materials at www.consumerfed.org/fraud and on its identity theft website, www.IDTheftInfo.org.
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