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March 5, 2018

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN ANNOUNCES FINAL TOP 10 LIST OF CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

Madiganís Nationally Recognized Consumer Advocacy Efforts Have Recovered Billions of Dollars for Illinois Residents

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced her officeís list of Top 10 consumer complaints for 2017. Since taking office in 2003, Madiganís office has mediated nearly 400,000 formal complaints from consumers across Illinois, fielded hundreds of thousands of phone calls and inquiries every year and recovered billions in direct relief to Illinois consumers through litigation and mediation.

Last year, Madiganís office received 24,669 complaints, and identity theft ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2007, with 2,511 complaints. The jump, in part, is 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 countryís persistent student loan debt crisis.

Joining Madigan today to discuss this yearís Top 10 list were Todd Kossow, Director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)ís 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.

ďEvery year, my Top 10 list shows that scam artists, predatory companies and cyber criminals devise schemes to steal peoplesí money,Ē Madigan said. ďThis yearís 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.Ē

Attorney General Madigan has fought aggressively to protect consumers from identity theft amid a series of unprecedented data breaches at some of the countryís largest companies and retailers. Madiganís Identity Theft Unit at 1-866-999-5630 (TTY: 1-877-844-5461) provides one-on-one assistance to victims of identity theft and data breaches and has helped over 44,000 people remove over $29 million worth of fraudulent charges from their credit.

Top 10 Breakdown

Madiganís annual Top 10 list of consumer complaints ranks every complaint her office receives on a range of topics. Madiganís 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 more information, visit Madiganís website or contact her office about consumer fraud issues.

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

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