If you think you’re the only one susceptible to scams, think again. In 2018, Oregon Department of Justice received 38,000 phone calls, which resulted in more than 7,000 written complaints, running the gamut from telecommunications to medical services and products.
The top 10 complaints were: telecommunications, auto (sales and repair), fraudulent entity, financial/credit/lending, real estate/property management, travel services/products, towing, insurance, telemarketing, and medical services/products.
This was the first time towing made it on the top 10 list. Towing includes consumers who were wrongfully towed, or where there was not proper signage by the towing company.
For the second year in a row, travel related complaints also topped the list. Consumers should remember that when they book online, a website may not know if all of the rooms are booked. During peak season, a consumer should contact the hotel or vacation rental directly and get confirmation in writing that the hotel room or rental is available. It is always advisable to book directly with the hotel.
“Each year our annual top 10 list changes, but our general advice stays the same,” says Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “The best way to stay safe is to just hang up the phone on telephone scammers, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Today’s scammers, she continues, “are quick, sophisticated and will take your money in a few seconds if they can. Be on the lookout for any suspicious deals, or if something does not seem right.”
“Our hotline is open on weekdays, and available to assist Oregonians who need help,” Rosenblum says.
The Oregon Department of Justice can be reached at 877-877-9392 or oregonconsumer.gov.