Mass Consumer Affairs Blog

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

Category Archives: Consumer Rights

Just Hang Up! Posted on Jan 19

Just Hang Up!

Americans carry a considerable amount of credit card debt. According to NerdWallet, the average U.S. household debt is nearly $16,000, while the average interest rate is 13 percent. Unfortunately, consumers who struggle to get out from under their credit card debt often fall victim to   …Continue Reading Just Hang Up!

Child Identity Theft Posted on Jan 17

  When most people think of identity theft fraudulent credit card purchases and stolen drivers licenses typically come to mind.  Child identity theft, though, is quickly growing and can be dangerous and damaging long-term.  According to a 2011 report from Carnegie Mellon, 10 percent of   …Continue Reading Child Identity Theft

Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Stolen: How your mail could cost you your identity. Posted on Jan 9

On average, the United States Postal Service processes and delivers 509 million mail pieces each day. That means, on any given day, an identity thief has several opportunities to steal your identity using one of the most low-tech means around: your mail. Identity theft occurs   …Continue Reading Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Stolen: How your mail could cost you your identity.

Do-Not-Call Consumer & Solicitor Responsibilities Posted on Jul 20

Do-Not-Call Consumer & Solicitor Responsibilities

The Massachusetts Do-Not-Call Registry allows consumers to stop receiving certain telephone solicitations simply by signing-up and providing their telephone number. Established in 2003, the law requires telephone solicitors, list-brokers, and telemarketers to register with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, subscribe to the Do-Not-Call Registry, and remove registered telephone numbers of consumers from their call lists.

Summer Series: Festival Scams Posted on Jul 11

Summer Series: Festival Scams

Food festivals. Wine and Beer festivals. Music festivals. Art festivals. There is no shortage of ways for consumers to partake in a favorite activity this summer. However, scammers have begun to take advantage of individuals wishing to attend a festival by creating phony websites and “selling” tickets to events that don’t actually exist.

New Year’s resolution involve exercise? Be aware of red flags BEFORE you sign up for a health club membership Posted on Jan 8

New Year’s resolution involve exercise? Be aware of red flags BEFORE you sign up for a health club membership

  As the Times Square Ball dropped, the clock struck midnight and we ushered in the new year, more than 40 percent of Americans had a New Year’s resolution in mind.  However, if like many Americans your resolution involved weight loss and regular exercise, you   …Continue Reading New Year’s resolution involve exercise? Be aware of red flags BEFORE you sign up for a health club membership

Federal Government Phasing-Out Social Security Numbers on Medicare Cards Posted on Dec 7

   Legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in 2015 requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin the process of issuing new Medicare cards that do not display Social Security numbers. The law requires HHS to issue modernized cards   …Continue Reading Federal Government Phasing-Out Social Security Numbers on Medicare Cards

Department of Public Utilities phone scam circulating in MA Posted on Nov 19

  The Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation along with The Department of Public Utilities would like to inform consumers of a phone scam that is affecting Massachusetts residents. Residents are receiving calls from a business that is claiming to be a solar developer,   …Continue Reading Department of Public Utilities phone scam circulating in MA

Data Privacy Series: Spoofing Posted on Nov 18

Data Privacy Series: Spoofing Your bank emails you stating that a large, unauthorized charge had just been made to your account and asks you to verify your identity by providing your account number. Do you respond? Or say a site like PayPal emails you indicating   …Continue Reading Data Privacy Series: Spoofing

EMV and Chip Technology – Protecting Your Payment Cards Posted on Oct 30

  Committing fraud by stealing credit and debit card numbers continues to be a major data security issue and only seems to be growing worse. But there is an effort underway by the payment card industry to include chip technology in payment cards to make   …Continue Reading EMV and Chip Technology – Protecting Your Payment Cards