Telemarketing topped the list of complaints to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in 2017 - and they continue to grow, the agency reported Thursday.
Many of the 4,147 complaints involved calls to renew extended automotive warranty service contracts and to lower credit card interest rates, said Michelle Reinen, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
"Imposter scams were also a major issue last year, with scammers falsely claiming to represent government agencies and well-known businesses such as the Internal Revenue Service, utility companies and 'Microsoft Tech Support' in an attempt to rip off call recipients," she said.
Telemarketing complaints were up 12 percent from 2016 and 62 percent from 2015, Reinen said in a statement.
"In an effort to enforce the state's Do Not Call laws, DATCP follows up on every telemarketing complaint we receive and attempts to identify the caller," Reinen said. "We also use the complaint information to identify trends, warn the public and help our federal partners build nationwide cases against the scammers behind the calls."
Here are the other top 10 complaint categories for 2017:
--Landlord/Tenant: 1,141 complaints, up 20 from 2016. Complaints commonly involved security deposit returns, evictions, unauthorized entries, inadequate disclosures and unsatisfactory services.
--Telecommunications: 763 complaints, up 65 from 2016. Complaints commonly involve a failure to meet the terms of an agreement, misrepresentations, billing problems and refund policies.
--Identity Theft: 453 complaints, up 22 from 2016. Complaints involved data breaches, tax identity theft and fraud.
--Home Improvement: 403 complaints, up 20 from 2016. Complaints commonly involved a failure to provide services, charges for work not provided, failures to honor warranties, improper installations and poor workmanship.
--Gas Pumps: 232 complaints, down 34 from 2016. These complaints involved concerns about gas pump accuracy and credit card skimmers in gas pumps.