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AG’s office shares top 2023 consumer complaints with tips

Karolina Grabowska | Flickr

At the beginning of March, New York Attorney General Letitia James shared the top 10 consumer complaints of 2023. Among the 10 items are things some of us have experienced along with complaints we have heard throughout the year. 

Despite inflation cooling, consumers felt rising costs of living through these issues and more as cases of consumer fraud ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to linger. 

Here were New York City consumers’ top complaints of 2023, including some tips to avoid them: 

Retail Sales

Online retail grew rapidly in the past few years, but unfortunately so has the number of people scamming through online retail platforms like Facebook Marketplace. Buyers should be careful about which websites they purchase from and who they transfer their money to.

Landlord & Tenant 

Tenants increasingly reported landlords holding on to security deposits, as well as unlawful evictions. According to the attorney general, landlords must pay your security deposit back in full or provide an itemized receipt for all the damages.


In NYC, motor vehicle thefts were up 15% year over year in January, with Hyundai and Kia receiving the most car theft complaints. A TikTok trend showed how easy it is to break into Hyundai and Kia cars. Remain vigilant when it comes to your cars and remember to always lock them. If you are a Hyundai owner, you can request a free steering wheel lock.

Credit, Banking & Mortgages

Consumers reported gift card scams, typically where the victim is asked to buy a gift card and send it to a person posing as their boss or relative. “Junk fees” were also cited as a common problem, especially with companies adding small price increases to monthly bills or subscriptions that are hard to cancel. Homeowners have also been a recent target of foreclosure lawsuits and hard money lenders.

Consumer Services

In August 2023, city officials called mail theft a growing “epidemic.” Remembering to pick up mail as soon as possible when it gets delivered is key — you can also ask the post office to hold it for you when out of town.


Account takeovers on social media are on the rise. Through your socials, threat actors can access credit card information as well as sensitive information. Remember not to click on random links sent through text, email or social media, and to create strong passwords and consider using multi-factor authentication. Be vigilant with your online interactions to avoid scammers.


To New Yorkers concerned about rising utility costs, James suggested reaching out to AG’s office if the increase is too high. They also provide resources for help if you are struggling to make payments on utility bills.

Home Repair & Improvement

Home repair scams are on the rise, especially targeted toward seniors or during severe weather events. It is important to pay attention to the contractors you hire for home repairs. Verify the information they give you is legitimate, and it is best not to give them money before signing a contract.


Staff shortages and natural disasters impacted travel throughout 2023, putting customer service and flight cancellation complaints among the top 10. The AG’s office warns about paying for trips in full too far in advance and suggests buying travel insurance from a reputable source.


Resale tickets were the talk of the summer last year with many concert-goers scammed after buying tickets from resellers. The attorney general suggests buying from verified sources and avoiding buying tickets from individual sellers on social media.

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