From internet scams to unauthorized transactions, scammers are taking advantage of these difficult times to mislead and deceive consumers, according to New York’s Attorney General Letitia James.
Consumers need to be on the lookout and keep their guard up against fraud.
Below are some of the top consumer complaints and tips on how to avoid these scams:
These include: Internet services and service providers, data privacy and security, digital media, data breaches, and frauds through internet manipulation.
Below are tips to avoid some of these scams:
Check your online accounts regularly for unauthorized transactions and immediately contact your online service (or credit card company, if appropriate) if you see something suspicious.
These include: Security deposit releases, tenant-harassment.
Below are some tips:
Your landlord must return your security deposit within 14 days of you moving out. If your landlord takes any money out of the security deposit for damages, they must provide an itemized receipt describing the damage and its cost. If your landlord doesn’t give you this receipt within 14 days of moving out, then they must return your entire security deposit, whether there is damage or not. If your landlord fails to comply, you may be entitled to up to twice the amount of the security deposit.
If you are having trouble paying your rent, please contact your department of social services. Check the links below:
These include: Price gouging, defective merchandise, poor customer service, pet stores, and animal breeders.
CONSUMER RELATED SERVICES
These include: COVID-19 testing facilities, alarm companies, dry cleaners, restaurants, movers, services for personal household use.
COVID-19 testing facilities that advertise test-result turnaround times are required to accurately convey how long it will take for consumers to receive their test results. Any consumer who believes a lab or other testing facility is making misleading statements about their turnaround time for test results should report it to their state’s attorney general’s office.
These include: Sales, service, financing, repairs.
Beware of deceptive sales tactics when purchasing or leasing a car. New and used automobile prices keep climbing, due to factors such as high demand and a global semiconductor shortage, which are a critical component of new automobiles. Never sign any documents or leave the dealership with a car until you have reviewed all of your paperwork carefully. Do not sign a blank document that does not have numbers or terms filled in.
Make sure that what you are signing is consistent with what the salesperson told you and that you are not being charged for any extra accessories or products that you did not ask for, such as warranties, tire and wheel protection, and vin etching. Ask the salesperson or finance manager about any fees or charges you do not understand and whether they are required by law.
These include: Debt collection, credit card billing, debt settlement and debt relief, payday loans, credit repair, credit reporting agencies, identity theft.
Consumers facing debt collection now have added protections under federal and state law.
These include: Wireless and residential phones, energy servicers and suppliers, cable, and satellite.
These include: Repair issues, deceitful contractors.
Before entering into a contract, shop around for estimates, check in with the Better Business Bureau, suppliers and neighbors for references.
Know your rights: You have three days after signing a home improvement contract to cancel it.