Internet-related gripes were the top fraud complaint in New York State in 2016, according to a new list released by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
There were 4,605 web-related consumer complaints, which topped the list for the 11th year in a row, and covered areas such as internet service and service providers, data privacy and security, and consumer fraud.
Complaints about buying, renting and leasing cars, auto repairs and auto service contracts came in second with a total of 3,437. Many of those, Schneiderman said, were filed by Volkswagen customers. The car company was the subject of an investigation into environmental practices.
“This serves as a reminder: fraudsters are always looking for ways to line their pockets at the expense of unsuspecting consumers,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The best weapon against scams is an informed consumer — and the law.”
The list was released to mark the start of National Consumer Protection Week and Schneiderman encouraged New Yorkers to report any instances of fraud they may encounter.
Consumer-related services, including tech repairs and restaurant services, came in third with 2,444 complaints received by Schneiderman’s office.
Schneiderman warned New Yorkers to be aware of some common scams, such as the grandparent scam in which someone calls claiming to be the victim’s grandchild and asks the person to wire them money or gift cards.
Another common scam: Phony student debt relief companies claim they can lower or eliminate student loan debt, according to the AG’s office. Scammers have also been known to pose as government officials claiming they work for the IRS.