Concerns about insurance, mortgages, buying used cars, home repairs and scams were atop the lists of four offices that collect consumer concerns and complaints in Massachusetts.
The state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, along with the state Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Better Business today collectively announced their Top 5 consumer issues of 2012.
Questions about insurance of all types (car, health and home) topped the list of calls to Consumer Affairs, followed by issues involving the state Lemon Law and home improvement contractors.
The Postal Inspection Service fielded a lot of complaints about mail fraud - scams aimed at consumers that come through the mail.
"Lottery and sweepstakes fraud cost Americans millions each year," Postal Inspector in Charge Kevin M. Niland said. "When one family member is harmed, the impact can be felt by all. Losses can be monumental; entire fortunes, inheritances, and retirement security can be wiped-out. Unfortunately older citizens are most frequently victimized in foreign lottery scams."
He suggested viewing the Postal Inspection Service's fraud prevention website www.deliveringtrust.com.
Here are the top five categories from the Better Business Bureau:
2. Used Car Dealers
3. General, Residential & Commercial Contractors
4. Home Improvements
the Postal Inspection Service:
1. Foreign Lottery Scams
2. Fake Checks
3. Work at Home Scams
4. Telemarketing Fraud
5. Cross-Border Fraud
1. Loan modification and foreclosure assistance
2. Protecting your personal information
3. For-profit schools
4. Debt collection abuses
5. High pressure sales pitches
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About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com