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Madigan Finds Debt and Identity Theft To Be Reoccurring Complaints

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Consumer debt and identity theft continue to be the top sources of complaints to the Illinois attorney general.

Lisa Madigan said almost 2,800 people filed complaints with her office last year about mortgages, debt collectors and payday loans.

2,400 each complained about id theft and promotional scams such as lottery or investment schemes. WBBM's Nancy Harty reports.

Madigan said the fact that her office has gotten these same complaints nine years in a row shows how some of the scams change, that people don't know their rights and that she has more work to do.

One area the democrat is focusing on is student loan debt relief.

It's a problem she calls significant and troubling, and involves scammers asking for money up front but then they do little to help reduce the borrower's debt.

A victory over scammers came last month when a Nigerian man was sentenced to 27 years in prison and was ordered to pay $1.7 million to about 300 victims.

E.C. Woodson, the head of the US Postal Inspection Service in Chicago said Olayinka Sunmola posed as an American soldier on dating sites and to creditors, using the unnamed man's picture and bio to lure victims into giving him money.

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