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Investigators see record number of consumer complaints, scams, and fraud attacks

A record 12,130 complaints to CO AG in 2020
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Posted at 7:17 AM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 19:11:35-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — It's National Consumer Protection Week and top state and federal investigators say here in Colorado we're dealing with a record number of attacks from fraudsters, all during the challenges of the pandemic.

Unwanted calls and emails were some of the top complaints state investigators got in 2020 as scammers and fraudsters ramped up their attacks when so many people were dealing with tough times.

In fact, the Colorado Attorney General's Office is just releasing this information saying it received a record 12,130 complaints in 2020. It's the most the consumer protection division has ever worked to address and it's a 23.5% percent increase from the number of 2019 complaints.

The state's top investigator and some of our viewers have a message for anyone watching. They say it's time to pay attention and be ready for when the scammers or fraudsters contact you.

"When we are living in a scary time, which is now. People's hopes, people's fears get preyed on by scammers. That's what we've seen over the last year. We are getting those reports and we need people to know what those scams are so they can protect themselves," said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

"I've been aware of this, but now it's happening to me and I don't think enough people are aware of it," said Susan, a Colorado Springs resident.

"I hadn't had it happen to me and it actually had occurred and it will occur because they are out there even more and more these days," said Elaine, a Pueblo resident.

Here are the 2020 top consumer complaints to the Colorado Attorney General's Office:

The Federal Trade Commission continues to track the number of coronavirus-related scams. It started in January of 2020 and it is now tracking more than 365,000 scam reports and reported financial losses of more than $351 million dollars for consumers across the country since the start of the pandemic. People have lost on average $320 dollars in those scams.

Explore the FTC data for yourself

"What a different impact this year has had in terms of the amount of scams, fraud, complaints that we've gotten that are more than ever before. Be there to help protect and coach others. Share stories of scams with us at Stop Fraud Colorado so we can educate others and go after these scam artists. That's what we're about in Colorado and during this special Consumer Protection Week let's protect each other," said Weiser.

As part of National Consumer Protection week, there are some additional resources and ways you can attend live chats and seminars to stay caught up on the latest scam trends and attacks we all need to be on guard for.

For those resources and live chats visit:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/national-consumer-protection-week