October 5, 2022


Taste the Home & Environment

Attorney Normal James Releases Top 10 Buyer Complaints of 2021

Top rated Frauds Incorporated Net, Housing Difficulties, Retail, Automobile, and Client Expert services

AG James Provides Strategies to Stay clear of Frauds, Urges New Yorkers to Report Fraud to Her Place of work

NEW YORK – New York Lawyer Standard Letitia James kicked off National Buyer Protection Week by releasing a list of the best 10 shopper fraud grievances been given by the Place of work of the Legal professional Standard (OAG) in 2021. Lawyer Typical James also gives a wide range of ideas on how buyers can prevent common frauds.

“Let this record provide as a warning to all New Yorkers to retain their guard up from scam artists,” stated Lawyer General James. “From inaccurate turnaround situations for COVID-19 test outcomes to deceitful debt collectors, scammers took edge of these tricky instances to mislead and deceive New Yorkers. My place of work is fully commited to rooting out fraudsters and preserving all New Yorkers, young and previous, from harm. Consumers have been worthwhile in assisting my place of work determine and eradicate fraud, and I urge them to continue being vigilant and comply with these ideas.” 

The adhering to are the prime 10 customer issues acquired by OAG in 2021 by category:

1. World-wide-web

World wide web-Relevant (online products and services and company vendors, knowledge privateness and security, electronic media, info breaches, frauds via net manipulation).


2. Landlord / Tenant

Landlord/Tenant Disputes (safety deposit releases, tenant-harassment).


3. Retail Income

Retail associated (cost gouging, faulty merchandise, bad buyer company, pet outlets, and animal breeders).


4. Solutions

Consumer associated providers (COVID-19 tests facilities, alarm businesses, dry cleaners, places to eat, movers, services for personal house use).


5. Auto

Auto (income, support, financing, repairs)


6. Credit rating

Credit score (personal debt collection, credit rating card billing, personal debt settlement and personal debt relief, payday loans, credit score fix, credit score reporting companies, id theft)


7. Utilities

Utilities (wireless and household phones, vitality servicers and suppliers, cable, and satellite)


8. Household Fix/Enhancement

Residence Repair/Advancement (repair service concerns, deceitful contractors)


9. Well being Clubs

Overall health Clubs (lack of ability to terminate memberships, lack of ability to access facilities, refunds not delivered, no response from golf equipment)


10. Home furnishings/Appliances

Home furniture/Appliances (defective goods, shipping problems, and assistance and restore difficulties).


Legal professional Standard James provides numerous tips to safeguard New Yorkers from foreseeable future frauds:

o   Do not use the exact password for many accounts. Cybercriminals use passwords stolen from just one organization for other on the web accounts. Before this calendar year, Attorney Common James introduced that a sweeping investigation by her place of work experienced identified more than 1.1 million on the web accounts compromised in credential stuffing cyberattacks on just 17 nicely-known companies. New Yorkers can safeguard on their own with the pursuing safeguards:

o   Hardly ever reuse passwords. While reusing login details may be practical, it also puts individuals at hazard. A password manager on a phone or laptop can keep track of passwords, mechanically filling them in when they log in to a web page or an application.

o   Enable two-element authentication (2FA): 2FA can present an excess layer of stability by necessitating everyone logging in to an account to provide a different credential, these as a just one-time code sent by SMS or e-mail.

o   Check your on the web accounts consistently for unauthorized transactions and quickly get hold of your online assistance (or credit history card organization, if proper) if you see one thing suspicious.

o   Sign up with a breach notification company, like Have I Been Pwned, that will ship a notification if an account related with your electronic mail or cellular phone quantity has been compromised.

o   Your landlord will have to return your protection deposit inside 14 days of you going out. If your landlord takes any funds out of the stability deposit for damages, they ought to provide an itemized receipt describing the injury and its charge. If your landlord doesn’t give you this receipt inside 14 days of shifting out, then they have to return your whole safety deposit, no matter whether there is problems or not. If your landlord fails to comply, you may perhaps be entitled to up to twice the volume of the security deposit.

o   If you are getting difficulties having to pay your lease, you should contact your neighborhood Section of Social Products and services. To come across places of work throughout the point out, check  https://otda.ny.gov/workingfamilies/dss.asp. NYC citizens can contact 311 and question about rental guidance applications. Far more resources are available here: https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus/tenants-rights#pay-rent

o   If you see unconscionably extreme rates for at-residence COVID-19 testing kits or other goods important and important for overall health, security, and welfare, you are inspired to report it to my workplace right away.

o   No cost COVID-19 screening kits are offered from the U.S. Governing administration at www.covidtests.gov.

  • Consumer linked solutions:

o   COVID-19 testing facilities that promote examination-consequence turnaround occasions are demanded to accurately convey how very long it will take for individuals to receive their examination effects.

o   Any consumer who thinks a lab or other tests facility is producing misleading statements about their turnaround time for COVID-19 test benefits really should report it to my office environment instantly.

o   Attorney Standard James has recovered in excess of $400,000 in refunds for people who did not get their COVID-19 test benefits in the promised time frame.

o   Beware of misleading product sales tactics when obtaining or leasing a car. New and used vehicle price ranges maintain climbing, owing to aspects these as high need and a world wide semiconductor lack, which are a important element of new automobiles. Hardly ever indication any documents or leave the dealership with a car right until you have reviewed all of your paperwork carefully. Do not sign a blank doc that does not have numbers or conditions stuffed in.

o   Make sure that what you are signing is dependable with what the salesperson told you and that you are not being charged for any added extras or products and solutions that you did not request for, these kinds of as warranties, tire and wheel security, and vin etching. Talk to the salesperson or finance supervisor about any service fees or charges you do not comprehend and no matter whether they are demanded by regulation.

o   If you have debt in assortment, financial debt collectors are expected to provide you with vital facts about the origin and background of your personal debt within just 5 days of their initial communication with you. You also have a ideal to dispute the credit card debt, and as soon as you do, the collector need to cease all makes an attempt to accumulate from you right until they present facts supporting their claim to the debt.

o   Personal debt collectors are not able to harass you, and ought to observe restrictions on how, and how generally, they get hold of you. For illustration, they simply cannot connect with you much more than 7 instances in any 7-day time period on any person account and can’t contact you amongst 9 PM and 8 AM. You have the suitable to notify credit card debt collectors not to speak to you by e-mail or textual content concept or any other indicates of conversation, and you may perhaps explain to them not to get hold of you at all.

o   Starting off on April 7, 2022, creditors can not sue you, or threaten to sue you, on most debts that are older than a few yrs. Prior to April 7, creditors can’t sue you, or threaten to sue you, on money owed that are more mature than 6 many years, or even significantly less, depending where the original enterprise or human being you owed the credit card debt to is found. 

o   Thousands of New Yorkers recently noticed appreciable and unexpected raises in their gas and electric expenses. Legal professional Typical James has demanded reforms from Con Edison that involve a commitment to offering people advance recognize of these types of raises.  Any buyer who thinks they received a significant utility monthly bill as a consequence of a billing mistake should report it to OAG instantly.

o   If you have difficulties spending your energy bill, get hold of the utility business. Means are available for customers who may well need to have aid paying their utility invoice. Utilities corporations present applications and payment options to support.

o   In addition, the Property Vitality Support Software (HEAP) can help low-cash flow men and women shell out the cost of heating their households. Data on how to apply is accessible at otda.ny.gov/courses/heap/.

o   Several of our properties have experienced wear and tear thanks to the pandemic. Prior to coming into into a deal, shop about for estimates, verify in with the Superior Organization Bureau, suppliers and neighbors for references.

o   Know your rights: You have 3 days soon after signing a home enhancement agreement to cancel it.

o   New York’s Health and fitness Club Law authorizes fitness center members to cancel their membership beneath specified situations, which include “after the solutions are no lengthier accessible or considerably available as presented in the agreement mainly because of the [gym’s] long term discontinuance of operation or significant transform in operation,” and necessitates gymnasium homeowners to present prorated financial refunds (NOT credits) for these cancellations inside of 15 days. In 2021, Lawyer Common James fixed a lawsuit against the guardian business of New York Sporting activities Club and Lucille Roberts for unlawfully charging every month dues to members and for partaking in a range of illegal and fraudulent methods involving consumers’ cancellation rights through the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney Standard James received the proceeds of a $250,000 bond for restitution to influenced people.

o   In addition, the legislation more prohibits misrepresentations about consumers’ cancellation rights.

o   Usually locate out what a home furniture or an equipment retailer’s return plan is right before building a buy. Some on the internet stores call for consumers to pay out for return transport which can make it price-prohibitive for people to return cumbersome furniture or appliances.

Shoppers can learn extra about COVID-19 sources and customer scams on the OAG site. Legal professional Basic James reminds consumers that in addition to becoming vigilant, they should really report occasions of fraud to her workplace. Consumers are encouraged to file issues by finishing and distributing a Consumer Frauds and Safety Bureau on line complaint form or by calling (800) 771-7755 if they are unable to submit a kind on the net.