Post Content

Undersecretary Barbara AnthonyPosted by:
Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

BA with speakers 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.

CiCiaccio check 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

Car Dealership Website Survey and Tips on Going to a Car Dealership posted on Jul 31

The Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation examined twenty car dealership websites across the Commonwealth to determine how consumers could best use these websites to shop around when purchasing a car. As a consumer looking to purchase a car, you should go to the   …Continue Reading Car Dealership Website Survey and Tips on Going to a Car Dealership

Scam Log Analysis – June 2015 posted on Jul 22

Scam Log Analysis – June 2015

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation compiles publicly available scam, identity theft, and fraud complaints from around the Commonwealth via police logs, news outlets, and other sources, as well as through the Office’s Consumer Information Hotline. Below is a quantitative analysis of   …Continue Reading Scam Log Analysis – June 2015

Competitive Energy Sellers posted on Jul 16

You have just moved into your new apartment and need to set up electricity service so you call your local utility company (National Grid, Eversource, or Unitil); within hours you are enjoying your favorite television show. One day someone comes to your door and tells   …Continue Reading Competitive Energy Sellers