Telemarketing was once again the top consumer complaint in Wisconsin last year. Sandy Chalmers with the state’s Consumer Protection division says seniors are an at risk group when it comes to telemarketing fraud.

“When you look within the numbers, our concern is the huge amount of telemarketing fraud that’s targeting seniors,” Chalmers said. The past year saw one scam stand out. Seniors were pitched phoney “medical alert” devices, with many setting up monthly billing plans for equipment that never arrived.

“The good news is that the Federal Trade Commission has already shut down that operation, but in the meantime another one has popped up, with basically the same pitch,” said Chalmers. “The number of scams that target seniors through telemarketing, it’s endless.”

Tenant-landlord issues, cable TV and telephone service, identity theft, and home improvement rounded out the top five complaint categories. There were about 10,500 complaints, a four percent increase from the previous year.


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