Go  To Archive


Current



Sign Up!


The Pure Vermont Newsletter
     By the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program                                      MARCH 2013

Release of Top Scams of 2012
National Consumer Protection Week 

The best prevention against scams is awareness. Be able to identify the top scams that are plaguing Vermont so that you and your loved ones don't become a victim.  Know the signs. The top 10 categories of scams reported to our office in 2012 were:  

Graph of Top 10

Top 10 List

What to do if you have been targeted:  

  • Cease contact with the scammer
  • Stop or report any fraudulent transactions, such as wire transfers, checks, and credit cards.
  • Contact authorities
  • Know how to identify fraud

Continue reading on our website...


Auto Concerns Regularly Among Top Complaints Reported to CAP

In 2012 auto complaints placed second among the top written complaints reported to CAP and the totals even surpassed written reports of scams, which came in third.  In February, automobile concerns were also the second most reported consumer issue.   Most of the complaints are against Vermont licensed dealers.   Consumer complaints allege false claims, misrepresentations, defective merchandise, pressure sales, deceptive pricing, and more.

National Consumer Law Center

“One of the most difficult problems consumers face is trying to obtain a car in good condition. There are several alternatives states can pursue to address this issue by enacting used car lemon laws and required warranties.” NCLC

Many Vermonters assume that protections are in place to prevent such behavior from happening on our dealer lots.   The truth is that currently Vermont offers few consumer protections when purchasing autos from car dealerships.

Consumers often don’t know:
  • There is no statutory "3-day right" to cancel an auto purchase.
  • Cars are not required to pass VT state inspection prior to sale.
  • In “As-Is” car sales, the dealer most often takes the position that there is no implied warranty.

Though Vermont has a "Lemon Law," the statute is only relevant to cars that are still under the manufacturer's warranty and essentially defective. 

According to the NCLC, six states; HI, MA, MN, NJ, NY, RI, have a used car lemon law and 7 states, AZ, CT, IL, ME, NV, NM, and PA, have a required minimum warranty for used car sales.  Other states, including WV, MD and D.C. prohibit "as-is" sales at a dealership.  Our office has not been able to locate any data that reflects negative outcomes in the states where greater protections are in place.

The House Commerce Committee of the Vermont Legislature has been reviewing H.165, an auto bill, supported by the Attorney General's Office.  The goal of the bill is to obtain greater rights for used car purchasers in Vermont. The bill is currently undergoing consideration by the House Commerce Committee.  The bill offers a hopeful resolution to longstanding issues in the Vermont auto industry.

Continue reading...


Consumer Auto Knowledge

A little consumer knowledge can go a long way when purchasing a car.  That is why our intern, Judah Griffin, is developing a buying guide that will target first-time car buyers.  The guide will primarily target teens.  Once complete, CAP will reach out to Vermont High Schools to present the information to students. 

Need useful tips now?  There are some great resources online.  CAP, the DMV and the FTC all have car buying information online.  For more interactive information, consumers can also refer to helpful videos like those posted on Edmunds.com.


Businesses:  

PHONY INVOICES AMONG THE TOP 10 SCAMS

what to look for from a merchant processor

     MORE BUSINESSES >>




Consumers:  

airfare promos

money pak and reloadable card scams

WATCH US ON ACROSS THE FENCE THURSDAY, MARCH 14TH!

      More consumers >>


Ford Motor Company Issues recall on 230,000 minivans to fix rear seat mounting bracket rust problems in cold-weather states (VT included). Check recalls on your Ford:  Recall Notices

Pure Vermont Recognition

Looking for a loop-hole to get out of debt?  A Vermont consumer warns that signing up with a debt consolidation company may not be the best answer. 

Last year, a consumer connected with an organization called Southeast Trust, only to receive false promises, increased debt woes, and harassment by collectors.  It was long after she paid the company $1200.00 upfront that the Federal Trade Commission filed an injunction and reported that Southeast Trust made false claims.  Receiving any kind of refund from the company has been impossible and her credit is ruined due to following the company's advice.  Her primary incentive now is to make sure that others are aware of the risks of working with a debt management company to eliminate debt. 

Her willingness to share her story to protect others earns her the privilege of Pure Vermont recognition.

Find out more about Pure Vermont Now!

Pure Vermont is about bringing consumer awareness to every door step while celebrating the wholesome values that Vermonters are known for, such as helping our neighbors, caring for our community, and promoting fair dealing in the marketplace.  The most important component of the Pure Vermont initiative is you.

Nominate someone for the Pure Vermont Award Now! 



FEBRUARY
COMPLAINT TRENDS

 240 New Complaints

TOP COMPLAINT ISSUES
Banking/Credit - Collection

Auto - Defective Merchandise

Phone - Cramming

Scams - Unsolicited

SENIORS REPORT
TOP COMPLAINTS
Scams - Unsolicited

Fuel - Unauthorized Billing

Direct Marketing - Unsolicited

Health/Medical - Unsolicited

Stay coNNECTED:

  • Twitter
  • youtube