July 14, 2008
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New Orleans, LA -- Focusing her remarks on strategies for prevention of consumer fraud in mortgages, car loans, Internet and telemarketing, Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League Executive Director, addressed the annual meeting of North American Consumer Protection Investigators, many of whom work in state attorneys general offices and other state and local agencies, representing 22 states, Canada and Bermuda.
"The problem of consumer fraud is rampant. It affects over 30 million consumers, 13 percent of U.S. adults. According to the FTC, and African Americans and Hispanics are victimized more than whites," said Greenberg. "According to complaints at NCL's Fraud Center, fake check scams, prizes and sweepstakes, and advance fee loans top our lists of scams that prey on desperate consumers enduring increasingly difficult economic times."
Greenberg called on the consumer investigators to work with NCL and consumer protection lawyers and open up investigations related to mortgage lending and auto loan fraud. “It’s disappointing that even many reputable companies are entangled in financing and other schemes that rip off consumers. All of us who work on consumer protection must hold them accountable.”
Greenberg also told the group, “The National Consumers League gets 60-70 online complaints each day from people who’ve been victims of fake check scams, phony lotteries claiming that the consumer has won a big cash prize, and sweetheart swindles where a lonely consumer is talked into giving large sums of money to a supposed love interest abroad. Sometimes we can save them from becoming victimized. More often, we can only report the scam to law enforcement. The con artists are very, very good at telling people what they want to hear."
The National Consumers League, which is the nation’s oldest consumer organization, founded in 1899, hosts the Web site, Fraud.org, and Fakechecks.org. Fraud.org sees 25,000 unique visits each week. The NCL also hosts the Alliance Against Fraud, bringing together consumers, business, government, labor, and nonprofits to share strategies and provide the latest updates on emerging fraud schemes.
About the National Consumers League
Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.