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Attorney General Madigan Announces Final Top 10 List of Consumer Complaints

Equifax
Equifax Corporate Headquarters. The increase of identity theft complaints in 2017 in Illinois is due, in part, to the massive data breach sustained by Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies. (Photo Source: Equifax)

Madigan’s Consumer Advocacy Efforts Have Recovered Billions of Dollars for Illinois Residents

Chicago—(ENEWSPF)—March 5, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser

Today, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the list of Top 10 consumer complaints for 2017. Last year, Madigan’s office received 24,669 complaints. Identity theft was ranked the No. 1 complaint for the first time since 2007, with 2,511 complaints. It is believed that the jump is partially due to the massive data breach sustained by Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies that compromised information for nearly 148 million Americans. In addition, education-related complaints made another big increase, jumping to No. 2 on the list with 2,399 complaints, further reflecting the country’s persistent student loan debt crisis.

Joining Madigan to discuss this year’s list were Todd Kossow, Director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Midwest Region, Steve Bernas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Chicago and Northern Illinois and Bill Hedrick, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago.

Attorney General Madigan said, “Every year, my Top 10 list shows that scam artists, predatory companies and cyber criminals devise schemes to steal peoples’ money. This year’s Top 10 list confirms that contending with financial challenges such as identity theft, student loans and other personal debt are the major issues confronting Illinois residents. My office will continue to aggressively pursue consumer fraud and provide people with the help they need.”

Top 10 Breakdown

Madigan’s annual Top 10 list of consumer complaints ranks every complaint her office receives on a range of topics. Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau returned more than $46 million in savings through litigation and mediation to Illinois consumers in 2017. In addition to identity theft and education-related complaints, Madigan noted other categories that topped her list of complaints involved consumer debt and home repair.

CATEGORY # OF COMPLAINTS
1. Identity Theft (credit cards, data breaches, utilities, government document fraud) 2,511
2. Education (student loan debt, loan counseling, for-profit schools) 2,399
3. Consumer Debt (collection agencies, mortgages, banks) 2,395
4. Construction/Home Improvement (remodeling, roofs and gutters, heating and cooling, plumbing) 2,113
5.  Telecommunications (cable and satellite TV, telemarketing, cell phones, phone service and repairs) 2,031
6. Promotions/Schemes (phone scams, lottery scams, investment schemes, phishing) 2,004
7.Used Auto Sales (as-is used cars, financing, advertising, warranties) 1,728
8. Internet/Mail Order Products (internet and catalog purchases, TV and radio advertising) 1,071
9. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair (collision, engines, oil changes and tune-ups) (collision, engines, oil changes and tune-ups) 656
10. New Auto Sales (financing, defects, advertising) 629

For additional information, visit Madigan’s website or contact her office about consumer fraud issues at one of the numbers listed below.

Identity Theft Unit:
1-866-999-5630 (TTY: 1-877-844-5461)

Student Loan Helpline:
1-800-455-2456

Homeowner Helpline:
1-866-544-7151

Consumer Fraud Hotlines:
1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield) or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)

Spanish Language Hotline:
1-866-310-8398

Source: www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

 

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