Top consumer complaints for 2015 released

Posted at 7:48 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 22:48:31-04

Did you buy a lemon car? Hire a contractor that didn't do the work? Can't get debt collectors to stop harassing you?

You're not alone.

Those are just a few of the top complaints for 2015 according to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

The consumer agency released it's annual survey of the top 10 complaints submitted to various agencies in 33 states throughout the U.S.

While Arizona does not participate, CFA Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy Susan Grant says the survey is a good indicator of what is going on around the country.

Cars and home improvement take spots one and two, respectively.

Car complaints include anything from repair shops, to new and used auto dealers. Home improvement includes both contractors and trades  

Grant says these categories generally receive the most complaints because the amount of money and time spent trying to fix them.

"This involves a lot of money. And if something goes wrong it's not just the money but it's the inconvenience that you suffer as a result," she says.

Complaints about scams are on the rise too.

"Imposter scams were the fastest growing complaints," Grant says.

Especially the fake IRS agent and Windows tech scams.

Something else to watch: tax identity theft used to file your taxes and steal your refund.

It's the most common type of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission last year, according to the report.

The iTunes gift card scam hasn't made the list yet---but Susan says it's huge.

 "It's like putting cash in an envelope and sending it to them," she says.

Grant says scammers resell the cards on legitimate websites and pocket the cash.

"As long as they work those are the ones that crooks are going to be using," she says.

Let your calls go to voice mail and check your credit reports strange activity.

Remember government or law enforcement will never call threatening you to pay them.

The report lists other really helpful ways to protect yourself.  Hint: they start on page 43.

For the full list and tips click here.

Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email or a video email where you attach a video explaining the problem.

And you can reach me on Twitter or "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook and tell me about it there.