Attorney General Chris Carr is joining a group of federal, state and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations in recognizing National Consumer Protection Week during March 6-12, 2022.
“One of our top priorities is to protect Georgia consumers from dishonest business practices and scammers who are continuously coming up with new ways to take advantage of people,” said Carr. “Last year, our Consumer Protection Division produced exceptional results on behalf of their fellow Georgians, and we remain dedicated to assisting all those in need of guidance. During National Consumer Protection Week, Georgians are encouraged to learn more about how to avoid scams and protect their personal and financial information.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (CPD) receives hundreds of consumer complaints a month regarding unlawful business practices, and CPD investigates those businesses that demonstrate a pattern or practice of bad behavior. In 2021, CPD helped more than 43,000 people and was responsible for securing over $64 million for consumers and the state.
The top ten complaints reported to CPD in 2021 were:
- Landlord/Tenant Issues
- Automotive Repairs/Service/Lemon Law
- Used Car Sales
- Debt Issues (debt collection, loan companies, credit report problems, title pawns, payday loans, credit card providers, debt adjustment)
- State of Emergency/Price Gouging
- Home Improvement/Repairs (home improvements, home repairs, security systems, roofing, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, pest control, swimming pools)
- Employment Issues (excluding unemployment insurance complaints)
- Health-Related Services/Billing (medical services, billing by provider or in-house 3rd party collector, personal care services, pharmacy, hospital inpatient billing, home health services, health sharing plans, DUI/alcohol/drug risk reduction programs)
- Utilities (cell phones, landline phones, bundled services, cable, satellite, electricity, internet/email, natural gas, garbage, recycling, water/sewer, propane)
- New Car Sales
Last year, CPD reached hundreds of thousands of individuals across the state through its consumer education efforts, including live speaking engagements and webinars, distribution of educational literature and two dedicated websites:
- Consumer.ga.gov, where consumers can file a complaint against a business, find information on a wide variety of consumer topics and read the offices latest press releases. This website includes a page dedicated to COVID-19 issues and numerous scam alerts related to the pandemic. Click here for a guide to pandemic-related scams.
- ConsumerEd.ga.gov, where consumers can access valuable information to help them make wise decisions about their homes, cars, credit and finances. Georgians can also view and subscribe to “Ask Consumer Ed,” the bi-weekly blog that includes CPD responses to consumer questions.
CPD works proactively to provide comprehensive resources that help inform and educate all Georgia consumers, including publications like the “Georgia Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults” and “Cybersecurity in Georgia: A Guide for Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Places of Worship,” which are available at consumer.ga.gov.
During National Consumer Protection Week, CPD will join with the Better Business Bureau, AARP and the Federal Trade Commission to host a live webinar featuring an expert panel discussion about scams. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. Georgia consumers can register for free by clicking here or by visiting bit.ly/aarpga-ncpw22.
Finally, Georgians are encouraged to follow the Office of the Attorney General’s official Twitter (@Georgia_AG) or Facebook (facebook.com/GeorgiaAttorneyGeneral) account to stay informed of the latest news, including consumer alerts.