Mass Consumer Affairs Blog

The Official Blog of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

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Paying bills after a disaster

Paying bills after a disaster posted on Jul 20

Following a natural disaster, consumers in the disaster area are undoubtedly faced with challenges. After making sure loved ones are safe, attention turns to repairing damages and salvaging belongings. Day-to-day activities are often forgotten or put off. But it’s important to remember there are responsibilities,   …Continue Reading Paying bills after a disaster

Beware of fraudulent IRS calls

Beware of fraudulent IRS calls posted on Jul 18

The IRS is warning of a new spin on a common scam that is being reported across the country. The scam is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS – an automated system for paying federal taxes electronically using Internet or phone). Scammers   …Continue Reading Beware of fraudulent IRS calls

It Pays to Check that Parking Ticket

It Pays to Check that Parking Ticket posted on Jul 13

Scammers routinely use creative ways to trick people into giving them money and this parking ticket scam making the rounds in larger cities is no different.  Crafting official-looking citation tickets, con artists have created a few different variations of the scam to prey on their   …Continue Reading It Pays to Check that Parking Ticket

Social Butterflies Beware: Watch out for fake Facebook friend requests

Social Butterflies Beware: Watch out for fake Facebook friend requests posted on Jul 10

An intern in our office recently received a Facebook friend request from a relative he hadn’t seen in years. Not wanting to be rude, he accepted. Within minutes, the relative began messaging him. At first the messages were your standard distant relative messages “How are   …Continue Reading Social Butterflies Beware: Watch out for fake Facebook friend requests

Avoid getting burned when buying firewood

Avoid getting burned when buying firewood posted on Jun 30

  No summer is complete without a few nights sitting around a fire pit, enjoying a cold beverage, s’mores, and good conversation. But did you know that Massachusetts regulates the sale of firewood? How is firewood sold? Firewood is sold by a measurement called a   …Continue Reading Avoid getting burned when buying firewood

Are Your Summer Toys Insured?

Are Your Summer Toys Insured? posted on Jun 27

  June 21st officially marked the start of summer and pools, boats, ATVs, motorcycles are all the toys of the season. But do you know how to safely use them? The Office of Consumer Affairs and the Division of Insurance recommend that consumers evaluate their   …Continue Reading Are Your Summer Toys Insured?

Doc Fee Audit

Doc Fee Audit posted on Jun 22

  “Doc fees,” short for “documentation or documentary fees,” are fees that may be charged by a car dealership as part of a motor vehicle sale. They are neither required nor prohibited by Massachusetts state law. What’s the scoop on doc fees? Doc fees generally   …Continue Reading Doc Fee Audit

Why Dish Network’s Do Not Call List Violations Matter

Why Dish Network’s Do Not Call List Violations Matter posted on Jun 20

  Earlier this month, a federal court in Illinois ordered penalties totaling $280 million against Dish Network as a result of litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and the   …Continue Reading Why Dish Network’s Do Not Call List Violations Matter

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse posted on Jun 15

  It is estimated that five million elders are exploited each year in the U.S, costing them $36.5 billion annually. Yet, studies show that only 1 in 14 cases are reported to the authorities. As a group, the elderly control a large amount of the   …Continue Reading Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

GameStop Data Breach

GameStop Data Breach posted on Jun 14

  Video game retailer GameStop recently disclosed a data breach affecting over 34,000 Massachusetts residents. According to GameStop, from August 2016 – February 2017 personal information, including customer names and credit card numbers, may have been compromised. As required by Massachusetts law, GameStop provided written   …Continue Reading GameStop Data Breach