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March 6, 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ANNOUNCES TOP 10 LIST OF CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

Home Repair and Remodeling Complaints Top List for First Time Since 2000

Chicago — In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced his office’s list of Top 10 consumer complaints for 2018. For the first time since 2000, complaints related to home repairs and remodeling topped the list, after years of debt-related complaints being the most frequently received by the Attorney General’s Office.

Last year, the Attorney General’s Office received 21,352 complaints, and home repair and remodeling complaints ranked No. 1, with 2,261 complaints. Consumer debt and identity theft complaints dropped compared to previous years, with consumer debt ranking second at 1,907 complaints, followed by identity theft ranking third at 1,899 complaints.

“During Consumer Protection Week, I encourage Illinois residents to be informed consumers, particularly as they plan ahead for home repair projects,” Raoul said. “As spring approaches, and more homeowners begin renovations and other home repair work, I urge them to first check out the free resources the Attorney General’s Office provides.”

According to Raoul, consumers contacted the Attorney General’s Office about a variety of home repair and remodeling work, ranging from gutter and roof repairs to new constructions. Homeowners reported being dissatisfied with the quality of work, as well as complete failure by companies to provide any work after receiving a down payment. Raoul encouraged homeowners to research contractors before making any payments or signing contracts and to visit the Attorney General’s website for more information about homeowners’ rights and tips to help avoid home repair fraud.

Top 10 Breakdown
Raoul’s annual Top 10 list of consumer complaints ranks every complaint his office receives on a range of topics. The Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Bureau saved consumers nearly $12 million through litigation and mediation in 2018. In addition to home repair and remodeling, complaints about consumer debt, such as mortgage loans, debt collection and complaints related to bank accounts and other banking services topped the list.

CATEGORY

# OF COMPLAINTS

1. Construction/Home Improvement (remodeling, roofs and gutters, heating and cooling, plumbing)

2,261

2. Consumer debt (collection agencies, mortgages, banks)

1,907

3. Identity Theft (credit cards, data breaches, utilities, government document fraud)

1,899

4. Promotions/Schemes (phone scams, lottery scams, investment schemes, phishing)

1,789

5. Motor Vehicle/Used Auto Sales (as-is used cars, financing, advertising, warranties)

1,783

6. Telecommunications (cable and satellite TV, telemarketing, cell phones, phone service and repairs)

1,657

7. Internet/Mail Order Products (internet and catalog purchases, TV and radio advertising)

1,069

8. Education (student loan debt, for profit schools)

756

9. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair (collision, engines, oil changes and tune-ups)

754

10. Motor Vehicle/New Auto Sales (financing, defects, advertising)

594


For more information, visit Raoul’s website or contact his office about consumer fraud issues.

Identity Theft Unit
1-866-999-5630 (TTY: 1-877-844-5461)

Student Loan Helpline
1-800-455-2456

Consumer Fraud Hotlines
1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield) or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)

Homeowner Helpline
1-866-544-7151

Spanish Language Hotline
1-866-310-8398

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