GREENSBORO, N.C. — Opioids. Scam Calls. Robocalls. They're all issues that were some of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein's top priorities before the pandemic. Lately, the office's focus has shifted to stimulus scams, vaccine scams, and tracking down capitol rioters while still tackling the other issues. After being sworn in for his second term, Stein promised to keep focused on keeping North Carolina's families safe.
Today Stein joined WFMY News 2's Chad Silber to talk about the work his office is doing, and to answer viewer questions.
TRACKING DOWN RIOTERS
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced on Twitter last week that his office is “supporting efforts to investigate North Carolinians” who participated in the riots at the U.S Capitol in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
He called for anyone with information about North Carolinians who were there and involved to email the North Carolina Department of Justice.
"My office is supporting federal law enforcement efforts to investigate NCians who participated in the raid on the U.S. Capitol. If you have any information about a NCian who participated in this lawless insurrection, please email firstname.lastname@example.org," he said.
NC DOJ'S TOP 10 CONSUMER TIPS
- Say no to high-pressure sales pitches. If the offer is only good today, walk away.
- Always read contracts carefully before you sign them, and make sure all written documents match what you’ve been promised. Never sign a document that you don’t understand or that has blanks to be filled in later.
- Be cautious when responding to telemarketers, door-to-door sellers, and email or text pitches. Instead of responding to unsolicited offers, decide when and where you want to go shopping.
- You never have to make a purchase or pay taxes, fees, or other expenses in advance to win a prize. Anyone who demands an upfront fee for a prize is trying to scam you.
- Never give out your Social Security Number, credit card or bank account number, or other personal information to anyone you don’t know who contacts you.
- Be skeptical of upfront fees. North Carolina law makes it illegal to collect advance fees for some types of work, such as foreclosure assistance and debt settlement help. If advance payment is required for other kinds of transactions, use a credit card when possible. This gives you some protection if your order doesn’t arrive or the work isn’t completed.
- Do business with companies you know or that come recommended by those you trust. Check out companies with the Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or your local Better Business Bureau before making major purchases.
- Join the Do Not Call registry to cut down on unwanted telemarketing calls. To sign up, call 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register or visit www.donotcall.gov. Once you’re on the list, report Do No Call violators to the Attorney General’s Office.
- Check your credit report regularly. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year from each nationwide credit bureau. To access your free credit reports, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
TO AVOID FRAUDS & SCAMS REMEMBER:
- Never share your Social Security Number, bank account, or credit card information with someone you don’t know who calls you or emails you.
- Walk away from high-pressure sellers who tell you that you must make a decision right away.
- Don’t sign any contract or other paperwork until you’ve had a chance to read and understand it.
- Never pay money upfront to get a loan or win a lottery or sweepstakes.
- Don’t respond to letters or emails that ask you to help transfer money into your bank account or wire money out of the country.
- Don’t cash checks you get in the mail along with a letter or call that tells you you’ve won an unexpected prize. The checks are most likely fake.
- Check out a company with Attorney General Josh Stein’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM before you do business with them.
More people die in North Carolina of an accidental drug overdose–usually an opioid–than from any other cause of accidental death.
- Five people die from opioid overdoses every day.
- More people die from opioid overdoses than car crashes.
- More than 2,000 North Carolinians died of an opioid overdose in 2017 – a 32 percent increase over the previous year.
- Between 1999 and 2017, more than 13,169 North Carolina residents have lost their lives to unintentional opioid overdoses.
- The number of unintentional overdose deaths in 2017 was nearly 17 times higher than in 1999.
- The number of unintentional opioid overdose deaths has more than doubled in the past decade.