Unwanted Calls DATCP Top Consumer Complaints List Of 2016
There’s been a tremendous shift in telemarketing complaints with fewer of the unwanted calls coming from legitimate businesses, according to Wisconsin's consumer protection agency.
Despite state and federal Do Not Call laws, telemarketing continues to be a top complaint in Wisconsin. In 2016, unwanted calls tightened their grip on the top spot. Complaints shot up 45 percent from 2015, said Sandy Chalmers, assistant deputy secretary at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
"What we saw in 2016 was a huge increase in the number of telemarketing complaints we received," she said. "And that was due to a huge spike in the number of imposter scam calls."
For instance, she said callers falsely claimed to be from the Internal Revenue Service and Microsoft tech support.
Not all of the calls consumers complain about are scams. There are legitimate telemarketing calls. Chalmers said businesses are required by state and federal laws to register with the appropriate agencies. They are given a list of phone numbers not to call based on a compilation of consumers who have registered to avoid such calls.
"But most of the telemarketing complaints we receive now are generated by international crime," Chalmers said. "Recently, there was a crackdown on a number of call centers in India, where they were posing as IRS agents, and calling people in this country and asking for immediate payment."
In 2016, DATCP reported they received 3,685 complaints about telemarketing. Complaints from landlords and tenants came in second.
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