With the severe rain and flooding New Jersey had in the spring and summer of last year, it's no surprise that concerns related to home improvements topped the list of complaints filed by consumers with the State Division of Consumer Affairs in 2011.

"New Jerseyans became easy targets for fly-by-night home improvement contractors," said Tom Calcagni, Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

"We also saw complaints related to credit debt collections and loans. Those came in at numbers three and four," said Calcagni. "This is a direct results of the economy. More people took on additional credit and loans, even from disreputable outfits, in order to make ends meet."

A total of 12,240 consumer complaints were filed with the division last year. Complaints about motor vehicles, professional and occupational services, internet sales, furniture, wireless phone services, insurance and appliances rounded out the Top 10 list.

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of marketplace abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs online or by calling 1-800-242-5846.

"When we don't know what's important to the consumers, we can't help them. So, it helps if they keep us informed."