Telecommunications tops the Oregon Department of Justice’s latest annual list of top 10 consumer complaints.
In 2018, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s consumer hotline received 38,000 phone calls, which resulted in more than 7,000 written complaints, running the gamut from telecommunications, to medical services and products.
Telecom topped the list with 1,728 complaints.
“Each year our annual top 10 list changes, but our general advice stays the same,” Rosenblum said. “The best way to stay safe is to just hang up the phone on telephone scammers, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Today’s scammers are quick, sophisticated, and will take your money in a few seconds if they can.”
Common phone scams are travel packages, credit and loans, sham or exaggerated business or investment opportunities, and charitable causes. Others include cramming – or unauthorized charges on your phone bill – and slamming, which is switching your authorized telephone company without permission.
“Be on the lookout for any suspicious deals, or if something does not seem right,” Rosenblum said. “Scammers are everywhere you are — they will reach through email, text, the phone or a knock on your door.”
Telemarketing ranked No. 9 with 131 complaints.
For the second year in a row, travel-related complaints made the list. Consumers should remember that when they book online, a website may not know if all of the rooms are booked. During peak season, one should contact the hotel or vacation rental directly and get confirmation in writing that the hotel room or rental is available. It is always advisable to book directly with the hotel.