When we announced the results of our Financial Awareness Survey at our July press conference, we were asked “How are you going to expand outreach from your office to educate more consumers?” Consumer Days give us an opportunity to hit the road and connect directly with Massachusetts consumers all over the Commonwealth. They provide a great way for us to share information, learn what consumers care about, and receive feedback. Today marked the 15th Consumer Day since we began holding them in 2010 and was a major success.
Worcester plays a vital role in the Massachusetts economy, providing, among others, a vibrant service sector with excellent healthcare services and facilities, a healthy financial sector, and a significant construction sector. In addition, a robust economy is equally dependent on educated and savvy consumers. That’s where we come in. By the end of the day, I had spoken with dozens of consumers who all seemed appreciative of what our office was doing and were happy to walk away with some new information.
The free shredding also seemed to be a big hit with consumers. Today consumers were able to simply drop off boxes to be securely shredded, forever eliminating the chance of personal documents falling into the hands of would-be identity thieves. As a past victim of ID theft (I had a $700 charge at 3a.m. on my debit card to Thailand last year), I wish I had taken advantage of such an event in the past.
We look forward to holding more Consumer Days and expanding consumer education across the Commonwealth. Hopefully I’ll see you at one in the future!
Also—if you’ve ever been a victim of identity theft, share your story in the comments!
Ian Mabie is a student at Northeastern University and is the communications co-op at the Office of Consumer Affairs.
Foreign Currency Exchange posted on Aug 20
Traveling to a foreign country presents various challenges for travelers, but perhaps none is more misunderstood than foreign currency exchange. Not only must travelers be mindful of exchange rates when converting funds, but the means through which money is exchanged can also result in costly …Continue Reading Foreign Currency Exchange
Scam Log Analysis: July 2015 posted on Aug 18
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation compiles publicly available scam, identity theft, and fraud complaints from around the Commonwealth via police logs, news outlets, and other sources, as well as through the Office’s Consumer Information Hotline. Below is a quantitative analysis of …Continue Reading Scam Log Analysis: July 2015
Looking for an Apartment? Check Out Part 1 of our Smart Renting Series posted on Aug 13
Deciding where to rent, especially in a new location, can be an especially difficult decision for any potential renter, particularly when he or she does not know how or where to look. Below are some factors for apartment searches to consider. UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CAN …Continue Reading Looking for an Apartment? Check Out Part 1 of our Smart Renting Series