Consumer debt, identity theft top Illinois consumer gripes

Consumer debt and identity theft were the top consumer complaints to the Illinois attorney general’s office in 2014.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released the top ten list on Monday. Other top complaints included the telecommunications, construction, home improvement and motor vehicle sales industries.

She also unveiled a legislative initiative proposing to update and strengthen Illinois’ data breach notification law, the Personal Information Protection Act, which was first passed in 2005. Madigan says more needs to be done to protect sensitive information in light of massive data breaches last year.

Madigan’s office received nearly 21,800 complaints last year. Consumer debt was ranked first for the seventh year in a row. It includes complaints related to mortgage lending, debt collection practices and payday loan companies.

The top 10 complaints were:

1 – Consumer debt (mortgage lending, debt collections, credit cards), 3,655 complaints

2 – Identity Theft (fraudulent credit cards and utility accounts, bank fraud), 2,617 complaints

3 – Telecommunications (wireless service, local phone service, cable/satellite),2,162 complaints

4 – Construction/Home Improvement (remodeling, roofs/gutters), 1,900 complaints

5 – Motor Vehicles/Used Auto Sales (as-is sales, financing, warranties), 1,305 complaints

6 – Promotions & Schemes (sweepstakes, pyramid, work-at home scams), 1,199 complaints

7 – Mail Order (Internet purchases, catalog ordering, television/radio), 868 complaints

8 – Fraud Against Business (consulting, directories/publications), 762 complaints

9 – Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair (collision/body, engines), 608 complaints

10 – Utilities (electric, natural gas/propane, water/sewer, waste removal), 566 complaints

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