By Joseph Spector
ALBANY Internet-related complaints topped the list of the most common complaints to the Attorney General's Office in 2012.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said nearly 4,100 complaints were logged by the office last year related to use of the internet and on-line purchases. There were nearly 3,200 credit-related complaints, and more than half of them were against debt collectors who illegally threatened and harassed consumers, Schneiderman said.
"In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to protect consumers from the deceptive practices of unscrupulous corporations that try to lie, cheat and steal from hard working New Yorkers," Schneiderman said in a statement today.
Schneiderman has led a national push to root on mortgage fraud and helped lead a $25 billion national settlement with the nation's largest banks last year.
He said his office has received an influx of mortgage-related complaints, more than 1,500 last year. He started a Homeowner Protection Program, which is providing a $60 million program to fund legal services to homeowners. For assistance, call 1-855-HOME-456.
To report complaints of fraud, visit the Attorney General's Office website at http://www.ag.ny.gov/ or call 1-800-771-7755.
Here's the 2012 list of the top ten consumer complaints:
Internet: 4,096 complaints
Credit: 3,167 complaints
Automobile: 2,950 complaints
Consumer-Related Services: 2,070 complaints
Landlord / Tenant: 1,808 complaints
Home Repair / Construction 1,125
Retail Sales: 974
Mail Order: 868