Call 12 for Action recovers $33K for consumers in January, February

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Call 12 for Action helped Southern New Englanders recover more than $33,000 in the first two months of 2018.

In January and February, Call 12 for Action opened about 250 cases for a wide range of complaints.

The cases tackled by volunteers included retail purchases or warranty issues, government and human services, landlord tenant issues, utilities issues, contractors and automobile repair issues.

That’s just a sliver of consumer complaints filed nationwide.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), American consumers filed 2.7 million complaints in 2017. More than one million of those were fraud complaints, and people reported losing more than $900 million.

Ed Bartholme, executive director of Call for Action, said many scams start as a phone call.

“I think if you have a landline phone, you might be a little more likely to fall prey to this,” Bartholme said. “But I think we’ve all also seen a huge uptick on our cell phones in these unwanted calls, and I think it’s a wide net they’re casting.”

“Don’t answer the call if you don’t recognize the number,” Bartholme added. “If somebody does leave a message and wants you to call them back, call a number that you independently verify leads to that agency.”