Top 10 Scams

2015 Top 10 Consumer Complaints

 

Nebraska Attorney General's Office

  1. Identity Theft
  2. Travel & Vacations Scams
  3. Imposter Scams
  4. Prizes, Sweepstakes & Lotteries
  5. Home Repair & Improvement
  6. Auto Related Complaints
  7. Health Care
  8. Debt Collection
  9. Business and Job Opportunities
  10. Internet Services

Federal Trade Commission - Nebraska

  1. Imposter Scams
  2. Debt Collection
  3. Telephone & Mobile Services
  4. Prizes, Sweepstakes & Lotteries
  5. Banks & Lenders
  6. Auto Related Complaints
  7. Shop-at-home & Catalog Sales
  8. Internet Services
  9. Television & Electronic Media
  10. Health Care

Federal Trade Commission - Nationwide

  1. Identity Theft
  2. Debt Collection
  3. Imposter Scams
  4. Telephone & Mobile Services
  5. Banks & Lenders
  6. Prizes, Sweepstakes & Lotteries
  7. Auto Related Complaints
  8. Shop-at-home & Catalog Sales
  9. Television & Electronic Media
  10. Internet Services

 

Complaint Categories used by the FTC and the Nebraska Attorney General's Office

 

Advance Payments for Credit Services

The promise of a loan or credit card that requires you to pay a fee first; worthless credit card loss protection and insurance programs; the promise that accurate negative information can be removed from your credit file for a fee; etc

Auto Related Complaints

Misleading or deceptive claims regarding auto warranties; repair/maintenance issues with newly purchased used or new cars, including dissatisfaction with service provided by auto mechanics; price fixing and price gouging concerns against gas stations and oil companies; etc.  

Banks and Lenders

Deceptive or predatory mortgage lending practices; problems with modification of mortgage terms; miscellaneous customer service and account issues with bank products, including fees and overdraft charges; etc.

Business and Job Opportunities

Complaints about business opportunities: promotion of distributing goods and services, provided by the promoter, with assistance in the form of locations or accounts or customers. Also, complaints about work at-home plans: an offer a consumer may receive or seek out to work directly from home (e.g. stuffing envelopes or processing medical claims), as well as complaints about multi-level marketing schemes

Buyers' Clubs

Complaints involving free trials or discounts on products and services; a buyers’ club membership becomes a fraud when consumers are billed for "memberships" they did not agree to purchase. Frequently, consumers are offered a free-trial offer and are automatically enrolled and charged fees once the free-trial period is over

Charitable Solicitations

Misleading pitches for donations to benefit local service organizations; solicitations for bogus charity or relief organizations; etc. 

Clothing, Textiles and Jewelry

Fake or replica goods passed off as genuine; order fulfillment problems; failure to honor refund or return policies; etc.

Computer Equipment and Software

Problems with computer software, hardware, and computer equipment purchases; unwanted or unauthorized software installations and downloads; etc.

Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users

Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) or furnisher provides inaccurate information or fails to reinvestigate disputed information; CRA provides inadequate phone help; difficulties ordering free annual credit reports; impermissible access to/inquiry on credit reports; etc.

Credit Cards

Account or billing issues, including interest rate changes, late fees, credit disputes, and overcharges; fraudulent credit card offers/phishing attempts; etc.

 

Debt Collection

Debt collector calls repeatedly or continuously; falsely represents the amount or status of debt; fails to send written notice of debt; falsely threatens suit; uses profane language; fails to identify self as debt collector; and/or violates other provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

 

Education

Complaints about trade or vocational school services, including issues related to accreditation, billing and collection, or institutional advertising claims related to usefulness of the degree or job prospects after graduation. Also, complaints about traditional colleges and universities.  

 

Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams

Letters or e-mails offering the "opportunity" to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that a self-proclaimed government official is trying to transfer illegally out of a foreign country in return for money, bank account numbers, or other identifying information from the victim; fraudulent schemes involving foreign lotteries, mystery shoppers, or Internet purchases/classified ads in which a counterfeit check overpayment is received along with a request to wire back the difference immediately after check deposit, leaving the victim responsible for the funds withdrawn; etc. 

 

Grants

Deceptive practices by businesses or individuals marketing either government grant opportunities or financial aid assistance services; problems with student loan processors, debt collectors collecting on defaulted student loans, and diploma mills and other unaccredited educational institutions; etc. 

 

Health Care

Fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive claims for vision correction procedures; dietary supplements; weight loss products or services; impotency treatments; health spas and equipment; infertility services; sunscreens; HIV test kits; etc.

 

Home Repair, Improvement and Products

Defective furniture or appliances; service or warranty-related issues; furniture or appliance delivery problems, including receiving wrong or incomplete products; problems with home repair services and contractors; etc

Identity Theft

When someone appropriates your personal identifying information (like your Social Security number or credit card account number) to commit fraud or theft.

Impostor Scams

Complaints about scammers claiming to be friends, family, a romantic interest, companies or government agencies to induce people to send money or divulge personal information. Complaints include the following: scammers posing as friends or relatives stranded in foreign countries without money; scammers claiming to be working for or affiliated with a government agency; and scammers claiming to be affiliated with a private entity (e.g. a charity or company). 

Internet Auction: Non-delivery or late delivery of goods; delivery of goods that are less valuable than advertised; failure to disclose all the relevant information about the product or terms of the sale; etc. 

Internet Services: Problems with trial offers from Internet Service Providers ("ISPs"); difficulty canceling an ISP account; issues with Internet entertainment services, Internet gaming, and social networking services; undisclosed charges; website design and hosting services; spyware, adware, and malware issues; etc. 

Investment Related Complaints: Investment opportunities in day trading; gold and gems; art; rare coins; etc. 

Magazines and Books: Pitches for "free," "pre-paid," or "special" magazine or book subscription deals; etc. 

Mortgage Foreclosure Relief and Debt Management: Complaints about mortgage lenders, brokers, and other entities making false promises to save consumers’ homes from foreclosure; mortgage refinancing, mortgage term modifications, and debt management issues; credit organizations charging excessive fees, making false promises to provide free services, pay creditors, or reduce interest rates.  

Office Supplies and Services: Fraudulent or deceptive offers for toner, copier paper, maintenance supplies, equipment maintenance contracts; classified advertising and yellow page invoice scams; website cramming schemes; etc. 

Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries: Promotions for "free" prizes for a fee; foreign lotteries and sweepstakes offered through the phone, fax, e-mail or mail; etc. 

Real Estate: Complaints about deceptive and misleading practices involving real estate agents and companies, real estate appraisers and appraisal services, real estate consultants, real estate property management, and real estate land developers. 

Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales: Problems, such as undisclosed costs, failure to deliver on time, non-delivery, and refusal to honor a guarantee, with purchases made via the Internet (not including auction sales), telephone, or mail. 

Telephone and Mobile Services: Complaints about charges for calls to "toll-free" numbers; unauthorized charges such as charges for calls consumers didn’t make; unauthorized switching of consumers’ phone service provider; misleading prepaid phone card offers; unsolicited mobile text messages; problems with mobile applications or downloads; other mobile device problems; etc. 

Television and Electronic Media: Problems with TV reception, installation, billing, and promotions for cable/satellite providers; miscellaneous problems with music/DVD/video game purchases.

Travel, Vacations and Timeshare Plans: Deceptive offers for "free" or low-cost vacations; cut-rate student travel packages; misleading timeshare offers; etc. 

Internet Auction

Non-delivery or late delivery of goods; delivery of goods that are less valuable than advertised; failure to disclose all the relevant information about the product or terms of the sale; etc. 

 

Internet Services

Problems with trial offers from Internet Service Providers ("ISPs"); difficulty canceling an ISP account; issues with Internet entertainment services, Internet gaming, and social networking services; undisclosed charges; website design and hosting services; spyware, adware, and malware issues; etc. 

 

Investment Opportunities

Investment opportunities in day trading; gold and gems; art; rare coins; etc. 

 

Magazines and Books

Pitches for "free," "pre-paid," or "special" magazine or book subscription deals; etc. 

 

Mortgage Foreclosure Relief and Debt Management

Complaints about mortgage lenders, brokers, and other entities making false promises to save consumers’ homes from foreclosure; mortgage refinancing, mortgage term modifications, and debt management issues; credit organizations charging excessive fees, making false promises to provide free services, pay creditors, or reduce interest rates.  

 

Office Supplies and Services

Fraudulent or deceptive offers for toner, copier paper, maintenance supplies, equipment maintenance contracts; classified advertising and yellow page invoice scams; website cramming schemes; etc. 

 

Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries

Promotions for "free" prizes for a fee; foreign lotteries and sweepstakes offered through the phone, fax, e-mail or mail; etc. 

 

Real Estate

Complaints about deceptive and misleading practices involving real estate agents and companies, real estate appraisers and appraisal services, real estate consultants, real estate property management, and real estate land developers. 

 

Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales

Problems, such as undisclosed costs, failure to deliver on time, non-delivery, and refusal to honor a guarantee, with purchases made via the Internet (not including auction sales), telephone, or mail. 

 

Telephone and Mobile Services

Complaints about charges for calls to "toll-free" numbers; unauthorized charges such as charges for calls consumers didn’t make; unauthorized switching of consumers’ phone service provider; misleading prepaid phone card offers; unsolicited mobile text messages; problems with mobile applications or downloads; other mobile device problems; etc. 

 

Television and Electronic Media

Problems with TV reception, installation, billing, and promotions for cable/satellite providers; miscellaneous problems with music/DVD/video game purchases.

 

Travel, Vacations and Timeshare Plans

Deceptive offers for "free" or low-cost vacations; cut-rate student travel packages; misleading timeshare offers; etc.