Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KSDK) - Attorney General Chris Koster has released a list of the top 10 complaints reported to the Consumer Protection Hotline in 2012.
More than $1.4 million in judgments against telemarketers were obtained by Koster's office in 2012. That is up from just over $1 million in 2011.
The following are the top complaints filed with Koster's office, including the number of complaints received:
1. NO-CALL COMPLAINTS (39,990) - There were an average of 212 complaints filed each work day, which is double the amount from 2010. Consumers should report unwanted calls to the No-Call complaint hotline: 1-866-buzzoff (1-866-289-9633).
2. DEBT COLLECTORS (1,769) - Consumers who are being harassed should report the behavior to the Attorney General's Office.
3. MORTGAGE/FORECLOSURE/LOAN MODIFICATIONS (1,648) - Homeowners have filed complaints about foreclosures and the loan modification process. Consumers should report concerns that the terms of the settlement are not being met to the Attorney General's Office.
4. MAIL AND PHONE SOLICITATIONS (1,432) - Mail often looks like it is from a government agency, and asks victims to send money. Nobody should give out financial information to anyone they do not know. Contact the Attorney General's Office before acting if an offer looks legitimate.
5. TELPHONE CRAMMING and BILLING (1,165) - This is when someone is charged on a phone bill for services that have not been ordered. The charging is usually done by a third party. Consumers should review their phone bill each month and request unauthorized charges to be removed and refunded.
6. CREDIT AND DEBIT CARD (1,165) - Many complaints say consumers were double-billed on cards after making a purchase. Bank account numbers should never be given over the phone, and consumers should always check bank statements. Disputes usually need to be made within 60 days of the charge in question, and be done in writing.
7. HOME REPAIR AND REMODELING (928) - Many home repair scams are from people going door-to-door and asking for money up front. Often the scammers are not licensed or from the area, ask for cash payments up front without a detailed contract.
8. PUBLICATIONS AND MAGAZINE SALES (823) - Many telemarketers offer new subscriptions or renewals at discounted rates, and then credit card charges are inflated or the magazines are not provided.
9. CABLE/SATELLITE SERVICES (670) - Complaints are usually discrepancies in prices and channel selections. Consumers should always read the fine print when ordering a new service.
10. AUTOMOBILE REPAIR (641) - Consumers should get estimates in writing before repairs are made by a certified mechanic.