Attorney General Mark Brnovich warns consumers about the top five consumer complaint categories that the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) received in 2021 and provides tips to avoid falling victim. General Brnovich also reminds residents that the AGO consumer protection team is working to help Arizonans who’ve been ripped off by consumer fraud.
“Although Consumer Protection Week comes once a year, our dedicated team works diligently each and every day to protect Arizonans from scams and help victims of consumer fraud,” said Attorney General Brnovich. “We have continued to add to our record-breaking amount of restitution for Arizona consumers, and we’re not done yet.”
Top 5 Types of Arizona Consumer Fraud Complaints:
- Motor Vehicle Sales, Repairs, and Rentals
- Telemarketing, Texting, and Phone Scams
- Mortgage and Real Estate
- Telecommunications (i.e. internet service providers, cell phones, TV, bundling)
- Insurance Service Contract/Warranty (i.e. home warranties)
Tips to Avoid Top Consumer Scams and Deceptive Practices:
Motor Vehicles: When purchasing a vehicle, make sure all promises made by the salesperson or business are in writing and that you get a copy of all paperwork. If you see a price for a vehicle on a website, bring that page with you to the dealership.
Phone Scams: Never give money or cryptocurrency in response to an unsolicited phone call, and remember that legitimate government agencies will not threaten you or demand that you pay a debt or fee immediately. Never pay for services or fees with a gift card.
Mortgage and Real Estate: Read all documents and understand all terms before signing. Do not sign contracts or agreements with blank spaces or in a language you do not understand.
Telecommunications: Keep an eye on monthly bills for unauthorized fees and sudden or new charges.
Home Warranties: Check the paperwork carefully to see what the contract offers versus what they are trying to sell you. Make sure you understand what the manufacturer’s warranty covers, when it expires, and whether you will be timely covered in an emergency.
In 2021, the AGO’s Consumer Information and Complaints Unit processed nearly 14,000 written consumer complaints, answered nearly 40,000 phone calls, and reviewed over 22,000 emails. The CIC Unit also recovered a record-setting $5 million directly for consumers by working together with consumers and entities to resolve complaints.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763 in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.