We’re smack in the middle of National Consumer Protection Week. As a fellow consumer, daily money manager, and professional organizer, protecting consumers is hugely important to me.
There are many resources available to consumers to help ensure you’re safe from scams, fraud, and other nefarious plots.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Alerts
Sign up for the FTC’s alert emails to receive up to date information on the latest frauds and get their blog right in your inbox! And because it’s the FTC, your email will not be sold to any third-parties.
Consumer Federation of America
Search for issues, contractors, etc. Their website is a wealth of knowledge and information to help you educate yourself.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Looking to open a new savings account or take out a loan? Check out all their resources to be sure you’re getting treated fairly.
State Advocate Offices
Each state has a department that works to protect consumer rights. In Massachusetts, it’s the Office of the Attorney General. For New Hampshire, it’s the Office of Consumer Advocates. If you think you’ve been the victim of a fraud, reach out and report it. These offices may be able to help catch the culprit and possibly recoup some of your losses.
National Association of Consumer Advocates
Every consumer has basic rights. Learn more about them, and find an attorney if you think yours have been violated with help from the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
There are many other resources, but those listed above are the first line of defense. If you contact them, they may refer you to other agencies or resources that can better help you.
As with anything, the best defense is a good offense. So arm yourself with knowledge and use critical thinking with your buying power.