Student loan scams new to list of top Illinois consumer complaints

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says student borrowers dealing with mounting loan debt are a new addition to her annual list of consumer complaints.

Madigan released the top-ten list on Monday. She says consumer debt and identity theft were ranked numbers one and two for the eighth year in a row. But she says this year her office received more than 1,500 complaints about student loan servicers and for-profit schools.

Education-related complaints came in seventh on this year's list. Madigan says the ranking reflects the growing student loan debt crisis. She says her office will "continue to combat the many scams targeting these students."

Other complaints included telemarketers, construction, used vehicle sales and internet or mail-order products. Madigan's office says it received more than 25,000 complaints last year.

The Illinois attorney general's office received more than 25,000 complaints from consumers in 2015. Here's a look at the top categories and the number of complaints:

   1. Consumer Debt (mortgages, collection agencies, banks) 3,350

   2. Identity Theft (government document fraud, credit cards, utilities, data breaches) 2,636

   3. Telecommunications (telemarketing, cable and satellite TV, phone service and repairs, cell phones) 2,188

   4. Construction/Home Improvement (remodeling, roofs and gutters, heating and cooling, plumbing) 2,167

   5.  Used Auto Sales/Motor Vehicles (as-is used cars, financing, warranties) 1,835

   6. Promotions/Schemes (phone scams, investment schemes, lottery scams, phishing) 1,813

   7. Education (for-profit schools, student loan debt, loan counseling) 1,523

   8. Internet/Mail Order Products (Internet and catalog purchases, TV and radio advertising) 1,019

   9. Fraud Against Business (consulting services, equipment leasing, directories and publications)726

   10. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair (collision, engines, oil changes and tune-ups) 714

   Source: Illinois attorney general's office