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NCPW 2021

An informed consumer is an empowered consumer. Whether making cost-effective decisions or ones that help you avoid scammers, navigating the financial landscape can be overwhelming. But we are on your side – that’s why the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) is proud to partner with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in celebrating the 24th annual National Consumer Protection Week. A week – Sunday, 2/28 through Saturday, 3/6 – dedicated to empowering consumers to make well-informed decisions about their money.

It’s important to stay updated about the latest fraud threats and scam tactics in order to protect yourself and interests. Staying informed makes it easier to identify red flags and steer clear of suspicious activity. As technology gets more complex, so do attempts to take advantage of consumers, but knowing your rights and what schemes to look out for can help keep you safe. Visit OCABR’s consumer scam guide for additional resources and tips on 11 different types of scams, and how to spot them before it’s too late.

No one is safe from being targeted by scammers. During 2020, when consumers were most vulnerable, the FTC reported a loss of nearly $13.4 million to coronavirus-related scams along with an increase in robocall frequency. Almost $1.9 billion was lost to fraud the year before. Con artists will continue to persist, but you can learn to outsmart them with the tips and information we provide.

National Consumer Protect Week kicks off with a discussion on coronavirus scams, hosted by AARP’s Fraud Watch Network via Facebook Live at 2:00 pm today. On Thursday, March 4, join the “Slam the Scam” Twitter chat under the hashtag #NCPW2021. At 7:00 pm, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Office of the Inspector General will lead a Facebook Live discussion on avoiding SSA scams.

For a local look at resources available to residents of the Commonwealth, join us for “How to Recognize and Avoid Scams” a virtual consumer protection forum that will address ways to protect yourself from fraud on Wednesday, March 3 at 3:00 pm. This free event is being co-hosted by OCABR, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Eastern, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont along with the BBB Serving Central and Western MA and Northeastern CT Massachusetts, and AARP of Massachusetts. Register here.

If you have received any malicious correspondence or believe that you have been a victim of a scam, report it to the FTC’s Consumer complaint page. Staying up-to-date on consumer issues does not have to stop this week; stay connected with OCABR through our consumer scam guide or request a representative from our office to attend your next consumer event.

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