March 3rd – March 9th
PHOENIX -- Arizona Consumer Protection Week is held annually in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, a nationwide campaign aimed at consumer protection and fighting fraud.
“Since the beginning of my administration, every week is consumer protection week at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “From getting a refund for every Arizonan who qualified under the terms of the Theranos, Volkswagen and GM settlements, to obtaining judgments against businesses violating the Do Not Call list, our office is fighting for Arizona consumers.”
The Attorney General’s Office received more than 16,000 consumer complaints and inquiries in fiscal year 2018. The Attorney General’s Office was awarded more than $25 million in restitution for victims through consumer fraud lawsuits and legal settlements in 2018. In addition, the Office recovered more than $3 million for consumers by working together with consumers and businesses to settle consumer complaints without taking legal action.
In recognition of Arizona Consumer Protection Week, General Brnovich released a list of the Top Arizona Consumer Fraud Complaints received in 2018.
2018 Top Arizona Consumer Fraud Complaints:
- Telemarketing and Phone Scams;
- Motor Vehicle Sales, Repairs, and Rentals;
- Telecommunications (i.e., internet service providers, cell phones, pay TV, bundling);
- Mortgage and Real Estate; and
“To more aggressively combat telemarketing and phone scam complaints, my Office has recently revised our consumer complaint form to enable us to gain more information related to these complaints. I know how frustrating it is to receive these calls, and my Office is working diligently on these issues,” said General Brnovich.
In addition to the revised consumer complaint form, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office also brought action and imposed fines against Orangutan Home Services, Adobe Carpet Cleaning, and Desert Valley Aire for violating the FTC’s Do Not Call list. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office also is a member of the executive committee of a bipartisan coalition of 40 state attorneys general to stop or reduce annoying and harmful robocalls.
Attorney General Brnovich Offers 5 Warning Signs of a Scam:
1. They Ask You to Wire Money or Pay by Gift Card
STOP and HANG UP! It's a scam. Con-artists prefer untraceable payment methods like wire transfers and gift cards.
2. Requests for Fees
Never pay fees or taxes as a condition to receiving payment. It is illegal for someone to require up-front payment before funding a loan or paying out a sweepstakes prize.
3. They Want Private Information
If someone tries to get your bank account number, Social Security Number, or other sensitive information, you should automatically be on alert. Beware and do as much due diligence as possible before giving out personal information. Never provide personal information in response to calls or emails you did not initiate.
Scammers will often put pressure on their victims and urge them to pay immediately or lose the opportunity.
5. The Offer Seems Too Good To Be True
If it seems too good to be true, it is. Examples include money left to you from an unknown relative or being awarded a grant for which you did not apply. Be very suspicious of winning a large sweepstakes prize unless you can confirm its authenticity.
For more consumer protection tips, or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Arizona Attorney General’s Office website. If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist.