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Feb-13-2006 21:38printcomments

Oregon Attorney General Releases Top-10 Consumer Complaint List

Salem-News.com

(Salem) - Attorney General Hardy Myers has announced his annual Top 10 Consumer Complaint List and three new website features to help keep Oregonians apprised of the latest scams. The complaint list doubles as an educational tool and a checklist, for the AG's office. `With another year of consumer challenges behind us, it is always good to look back at who caused the most problems for consumers and what did we learn from those complaints," Myers explained.

`Although identity theft does not appear on our Top Ten List because it violates the criminal laws rather than the civil consumer protection laws, it continues to be the fastest growing crime in the world," Myers says several data breaches have countless Oregonians worried about the possible illegal use of their stolen personal financial and medical information by ID thieves and have pushed the problem onto the front pages of newspapers and into breaking television coverage."

2005 ID theft statistics from the Federal Trade Commission ranks the Portland/Vancouver region as #22 in per capita ranking of major metropolitan areas in the United States.

Oregon cities rank like this in terms of identity theft:
-Portland
-Salem
-Eugene

-Beaverton
-Bend

Statistics included more than 50,000 calls to the Attorney General`s consumer hotline with over $13 million in restitution recovered for Oregonians. Nearly 11,000 written complaints were received in 2005 with an additional 8,795 `Do Not Call" complaints routed through FTC`s Consumer Sentinel database. Although Oregon`s `Do Not Call" Law has been preempted over the last three years by a federal statute, Attorney General Myers plans to re-submit to the Oregon Legislature amendments in the law that will bring back Oregon`s authority to prosecute violators of the state`s `Do Not Call" law.

Oregon`s 2005 Top 10 Consumer Complaint List includes:

#1 Financial Institutions

#2 Telecommunications

#3 Internet Auctions

#4 Motor Vehicle Sales

#5 Collection Agencies

#6 Internet Retailers

#7 Sweepstakes / Prize Promotions / Foreign Lotteries

#8 Health Care

Three new consumer education websites also were announced as part of the weeklong consumer protection observance including:

-Scam Gram � a weekly warning on the Justice website of the latest scams targeting Oregonians;
-Consumer Corner � a monthly feature on consumer protection issues with detailed information on how to be better consumers;

-A federal website, `Consumer Protection: It`s the Name of the Game," initiated in conjunction with the 2006 National Consumer Protection Week events. More than 21 games providing useful consumer education information about credit, debt, weight loss, miracle health cures, phishing, spyware, telemarketing, spam and online shopping/security can be found at www.consumer.gov/ncpw.

Consumers wanting more information about consumer protection in Oregon may call the Attorney General`s consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Oregon Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.




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