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Attorney General reminds all to be wary, skeptical consumers

March 6-12, 2011 is National Consumer Protection Week

By Shelley Catharine Johnson
News from the attorney general's office

Attorney General Jack Conway is joining local, state and federal consumer protection agencies and advocacy organizations in supporting the 13th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), being held March 6-12. This coordinated education campaign is designed to raise awareness about the importance of consumer education and encourages consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights.

"Scams and fraudulent activities occur every day, so it's important for Kentuckians of all ages to be wise consumers," General Conway said. "My office is committed to educating consumers on how to stay safe online, protect their privacy, avoid identity theft and protect themselves against financial fraud."

General Conway's Office of Consumer Protection enforces the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act to safeguard the state's consumers and combat unethical business practices. Since General Conway took office in January 2008, his consumer protection office has handled more than 72,000 consumer complaints and inquiries. It has also recovered more than $13 million for the Kentucky consumers and taxpayers through dispute resolution services and litigation. Additionally, the office has conducted more than 170 Internet safety programs reaching nearly 51,000 participants.

The following are some important consumer protection tips for kids, seniors and businesses:

Tips for Kids:
  • Never give out personal information, particularly on the Internet.
  • Don't make important spending decisions on the spur of the moment or under pressure.
  • Be skeptical, ask questions and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not open emails or email attachments from an unfamiliar source.
  • Never meet someone in person that you have met online.
Tips for Seniors:
  • Beware of home solicitors.
  • Research charities before you make a contribution.
  • Never cash a check that you have received with a sweepstakes or lottery letter.
  • Don't do business with unsolicited callers, especially those offering to "fix your credit," or those claiming to be from Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.
Tips for Businesses:
  • Make sure bills are not actually solicitations disguised as bills to fool you into paying for something you don't want.
  • Check out suppliers, service providers and solicitations with your Better Business Bureau before doing business.
  • Use extra care to verify orders made via relay operators used by the hearing impaired - con artists are "hiding" behind them to place large orders with stolen credit cards.
  • Beware if paid with a check for a larger amount than the price - it's a scam to get you to send back the difference, and the check is fake.
For additional consumer protection tips or to file a consumer protection complaint online, visitAG Complaint online or call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.

This story was posted on 2011-03-05 02:38:33
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