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:
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.
- Know how to identify fraud
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
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
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
Though Vermont has a "Lemon
Law," the statute is only relevant to cars that are still under the
manufacturer's warranty and essentially defective.
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
and D.C. prohibit "as-is" sales at a dealership. Our office
been able to locate any data that reflects negative outcomes in the
states where greater protections are in place.
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.
Consumer Auto Knowledge
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
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.
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
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.
was long after she paid the company $1200.00 upfront that the Federal
Trade Commission filed an injunction and reported that
Trust made false claims. Receiving any kind of refund from
company has been impossible and her credit is ruined due to
following the company's advice. Her primary
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.
out more about Pure Vermont Now!
Pure Vermont is about
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
240 New Complaints
TOP COMPLAINT ISSUES
Auto - Defective Merchandise
Phone - Cramming
Scams - Unsolicited
Scams - Unsolicited
Fuel - Unauthorized Billing
Direct Marketing - Unsolicited
Health/Medical - Unsolicited