This week, March 5th – 11th, is National Consumer Protection Week. In an effort to promote awareness of consumer protection, here is our guide to finding and using helpful consumer protection resources.
Online Consumer Protection Resources
There are a number of institutions and websites that provide information and tools consumers can use to protect themselves from scams that result in consumer debt. Here are the top online locations to get help with protecting your identity and your finances.
- The Federal Trade Commission – The Bureau of Consumer Protection within the FTC stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. Additionally, consumers can use their website to file complaints and learn about common scams.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – In addition to efforts to curb wrongdoing by private companies, the CFPB produces educational resources and consumer tools.
- State Consumer Protection Offices – Another source of information available to many individuals are state-level consumer protection offices. Try searching this directory of state protection offices.
Additional Websites with Consumer Protection Resources:
- The National Consumer League – This organization gathers information directly from consumers and workers and uses it to educate and inform others. Additionally, they operate Fraud.org to help consumers report and learn about common forms of fraud.
- The Better Business Bureau – The BBB is a great resource for seeing how different businesses treat their customers. As such, it is a valuable tool to help consumers avoid paying too much or falling victim to shady businesses.
- Consumer Action – This organization provides educational materials in different languages and hosts community outreach events to help consumers empower themselves. They also facilitate grassroots action so community members can organize to fight for the rights of all consumers.
While these organizations and websites contain a lot of valuable information, it’s not enough to just read about ways to protect yourself. Being active with monitoring your credit report, avoiding scams, and checking for suspicious account activity is essential for protecting your identity and reducing the likelihood you’ll end up drowning in debt. In order to go the extra mile, report scammers and share consumer protection resources that you find valuable.