Post Content

 

Today, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation hosted a press conference to discuss the top five scams that confronted consumers in 2009. Along with information from our office, the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General’s Office and Federal Trade Commission shared their top five lists this morning. This was part of our effort to inform and educate the public during National Consumer Protection Week.

Topping our list of consumer issues is Home Improvement Contracting. While our office only took over regulation of contractors last July, we have already received enough complaints to make it our most prevalent consumer issue. The next two categories of complaints on our list were regarding auto insurance and health insurance; complaints usually came in the form of issues with claims and general questions about benefits. In addition, we received enough calls from consumers regarding Lemon Law and foreclosure assistance issues in 2009 to make them number four and five on our list.

The sometimes destructive results of scams hit home today when speakers who were directly affected by some of our top complaints spoke at the press conference. Raymond DiCiaccio (photo right, with a check from the Guaranty Fund), a consumer from Attleboro, spoke about his experience when he hired a contractor who left fully paid without finishing the job. After going through the Office of Consumer Affairs, Mr. DiCiaccio received $10,000 from our Guaranty Fund, helping him recover some of the money he would have lost.

Another consumer, Patricia Gordon, also spoke today about her experience with our fourth most prevalent issue, Lemon Law complaints. Ms. Gordon, after months of back-and-forth with her auto dealer, won in arbitration through our office and was eligible to receive a refund on her newly purchased used car that clearly turned out to be a “lemon.”

While our partner’s top complaints extended to issues with identity theft, new-automobile dealers, and time share resellers, there was certainly one common theme: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Our goal this morning was to educate consumers in Massachusetts and with the help of our partners who shared tips and the consumers that told their stories, I hope that throughout the state, consumers will be more aware of the issues they face daily and the vast amount of resources at their disposal.

Written By:

Recent Posts

What teens and seniors should know about 18-65 accounts posted on Apr 25

  April is Financial Literacy Month and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is offering tips on how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. It’s never too early or too late to take an interest in your personal finances. But for many,   …Continue Reading What teens and seniors should know about 18-65 accounts

Tips to Reduce Your Junk Mail posted on Apr 20

  Many Americans open their mailboxes to find them stuffed with envelopes bearing the names of unfamiliar or unsolicited companies. 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened. As a result, about 5.6 million tons of mail offers and advertisements end up in U.S.   …Continue Reading Tips to Reduce Your Junk Mail

Buyer Beware: Why clothing ads are not always what they seem posted on Apr 20

  Online shopping provides a fast, convenient platform for purchasing items without the hassle of driving to a store. However, scammers often take advantage of the popularity of the online retail industry, sending purchased products that are either not what was advertised or far inferior   …Continue Reading Buyer Beware: Why clothing ads are not always what they seem