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DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers unveiled today statistics on the top consumer complaints for 2011 and the first two months of 2012 to mark the beginning of National Consumer Protection Week.
"Protecting consumers from fraud is one of the most important jobs of Colorado’s attorney general,” Suthers said. “Thanks to our aggressive outreach, warnings about prevalent scams and informing Coloradans on how to protect themselves, we have made great progress over the past five years. The growing number of complaints Coloradans submit to us highlights the strides we have made in informing consumers about types of fraud and how to report scams to us as well as our federal counterparts.”
During the 2011 calendar year, Colorado consumers filed 7,297 complaints with the Office of the Attorney General — a 12.9 percent increase over 2010’s total of 6,462 complaints and a 54.5 percent increase over 2009’s total of 4,723 complaints.
The top 10 types of complaints received last year were:
 Type of businessComplaints
1Financial planning and management consultants410
2Utility complaints (cable and satellite television)349
3Mail fraud264
4Health and medical services262
5Tanning salons159
6Internet shopping services146
Telephone (Cell phones and equipment)
8Magazine subscription agents127
9Rebate offers108
10Roofing and guttering contractors95
By business, the top 10 complaint-getters for 2011 were:
1Dalbey Education Institute407
2Corporate Controllers Unit231
3Heart Check America189
5At The Beach157
6Dish Network107
7National Energy Rebate Fund103
8Real Talk Network81
10E-470 Public Highway Authority65
In addition, the Attorney General’s Office licenses and regulates collection agencies, lenders, creditors, and debt settlement companies. In 2011, the Office received 732 complaints against collection agencies. The most common complaint was that the collection agency attempted to collect an amount not due or harassed a consumer. By law, collection agencies may not disclose debts to third-parties not obligated to pay such as parents, children, employers and neighbors; may not call consumers before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone; may not misrepresent the legal status of a debt; must honor a consumer’s written request to cease telephone calls or cease all communication; and must provide verification of the debt upon a consumer’s written request within 30 days after receipt of its initial collection letter disclosing consumers’ rights.
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During January and February 2012, Colorado consumers filed 1,434 of complaints with the Office of the Attorney General. The top 10 types of complaints were:
 Type of BusinessComplaint 
1Financial planning and management consultants77
2Utility complaints (cable and satellite television)55
3Telephone (Cell phones and equipment)31
4Health and medical services28
5Magazine subscription agents21
6Automotive dealers20
7Roofing and guttering contractors18
8Internet service providers18
10Internet shopping services17
The top 10 complaint-getters by business for January and February 2011 were:
1Dalbey Education Institute76
3Dish Network 16
4Comcast 15
5Verizon Wireless14
6Heart Check America 11
7National Energy Rebate Fund 11
8Open Range Communications 11
9At The Beach 10
10Universal Fidelity LP9
If a consumer believes they have been defrauded or victimized by a Colorado business or nonprofit, they can file a report by visiting or by calling 1-800-222-4444. Consumers interested in receiving updates on the latest scams facing Coloradans as well as information on how to avoid being victimized can sign up for the Consumer Fraud Awareness newsletter by visiting
To learn more about the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section and its recent cases, visit To learn more about National Consumer Protection Week, visit