For Immediate Release:
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
Stein releases the North Carolina Department of Justice’s 2019 annual report
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today shared the top 10 consumer complaints that his office received in 2019. He also released the North Carolina Department of Justice’s 2019 annual report, which delves into the department’s work to protect people from crime and fraud, protect taxpayers, and defend the state of North Carolina over the past year.
“Bad actors are always trying to use fear and confusion to take advantage of people,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Their actions are unconscionable and often illegal. My office will continue to investigate consumer complaints and do everything in our power to hold scammers accountable and make North Carolinians whole again.”
The 2019 annual report discuss NCDOJ’s work to prevent crime, handle criminal appeals and certain criminal cases, support victims and survivors, defend state agencies, protect the environment, analyze evidence and assist in law enforcement investigations, and train and certify law enforcement officers.
“I’m incredibly proud of my colleagues and their work to serve North Carolinians,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Over the past year, they have continued to demonstrate an unparalleled commitment to integrity and excellence, and we are safer for their public service to protect and defend North Carolina, its people, and their rights.”
Last year, people in North Carolina filed 14,462 consumer complaints. In the course of mediating those complaints, NCDOJ secured consumer refunds of nearly $580,000, of which more than $293,000 went to refund elder fraud victims.
The top 10 consumer complaints of 2019 are:
- Telemarketing/Do Not Call: Telemarketing complaints are related to robocalls, spoofed calls, and calls that violate the Do Not Call Registry. NCDOJ received 1,545 telemarketing complaints. In August, Attorney General Stein unveiled the Anti-Robocall Principles, an agreement between 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies to fight robocalls through prevention and enforcement.
- Lenders/Credit: Lender and credit complaints involve issues with mortgage lenders, creditors, debt adjustors, credit reporting and recovery, and collection agencies. NCDOJ received 1,477 lender and creditor complaints.
- Motor Vehicles: Motor vehicle complaints involve issues related to car rentals, sales or purchases of new and used cars, and car repair issues. NCDOJ received 1,381 motor vehicle complaints.
- Elder Fraud: Elder fraud scams cover a range of scams that target older adults, including imposter and sweetheart scams. NCDOJ received 1,249 elder fraud complaints. The Department helped to secure more than $293,000 in refunds to victims of elder fraud.
- Home Repair: Home repair scams involve home improvement, repair, construction, and care. NCDOJ received 1,215 home repair complaints.
- Health Care: Health care complaints include health services and products, and hospital, doctor and healthcare-provider services. NCDOJ received 783 health care complaints.
- Cable TV/Satellite: Cable TV and satellite complaints are related to cable TV and satellite service providers with a state-issued franchise. NCDOJ received 780 cable TV and satellite complaints.
- Landlord-Tenant: Landlord-tenant complaints involve disputes over the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. NCDOJ received 680 landlord-tenant complaints.
- Telecommunications: Telecommunications complaints involve issues with cellular providers and other telephone companies. NCDOJ received 675 telecommunications complaints.
- Home Furnishings/Appliances: Home furnishing and appliance complaints include issues with furniture companies and appliance repair. NCDOJ received 421 home furnishings and appliance complaints.
North Carolina consumers can visit ncdoj.gov to learn more about ways to protect themselves from scams and fraud. People can also request a presentation for a group or organization about public safety issues, scams and frauds, and ways to prevent crime and protect yourself and your information. If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, file a complaint with our Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.