August 28, 2013

Top Maine consumer complaints: car sales, lottery scams

From staff reports

Auto sales and Jamaican lottery scams were the most frequent sources of consumer complaints to the Maine Office of the Attorney General during the past year, the agency said Wednesday.

The rest of the top 10 complaints from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2013, include landlord-tenant disputes and mobile homes; scams involving requests from Nigeria, a "sweetheart" or someone else; home repair and construction complaints; furniture, appliances and home furnishings; entertainment and recreation; satellite TV sales and service; health services and products; and telecommunications practices such as charges added to a bill without authorization. The top category, auto sales, includes both new and used car purchases.

Mediators in the Attorney General's Office assist consumers with complaints by answering questions, providing referrals and mediating disputes.

But, while Maine has laws to protect consumers, Attorney General Janet T. Mills urged Maine consumers to educate themselves before signing contracts and to be wary of high-pressure phone solicitations.

"Maine consumers should understand their rights and should always be skeptical before agreeing to part with their hard-earned money," she said in a written statement.

Consumers with questions or complaints can contact the Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-800-436-2131 or 626-8849 or by email at More information is available online at

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