Mass Consumer Affairs Blog

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

Yearly Archives: 2016

Holiday Shopping Series: Black Friday Posted on Nov 23

Holiday Shopping Series: Black Friday

    The Holiday Season is upon us. Over the next few weeks as the holiday music plays and decorations are put up, consumers will be flocking to malls and websites hoping to purchase the perfect gift for their family member or friend. In fact,   …Continue Reading Holiday Shopping Series: Black Friday

Holiday Shopping Tips Posted on Nov 22

Holiday Shopping Tips

  The Holiday Season is upon us. Over the next few weeks as the holiday music plays and decorations are put up, consumers will be flocking to malls and websites hoping to purchase the perfect gift for their family member or friend. To be sure   …Continue Reading Holiday Shopping Tips

Buying a Used Car? Watch out for Odometer Fraud Posted on Nov 18

Buying a Used Car? Watch out for Odometer Fraud

  It’s estimated that there are over 31,500 incidents of odometer fraud in Massachusetts every year. Odometer fraud occurs when a vehicle’s odometer is illegally altered to make it appear that the car has fewer miles on it than it actually does. Unsuspecting consumers then   …Continue Reading Buying a Used Car? Watch out for Odometer Fraud

Virtual Kidnapping Scams Posted on Nov 16

Virtual Kidnapping Scams

  Virtual kidnapping scams aren’t just terrifying; they can be costly. A virtual kidnapping scam occurs when a scammer calls your number and tells you he has kidnapped your loved one. The scammer threatens injury or worse unless the victim pays a ransom. Most consumers   …Continue Reading Virtual Kidnapping Scams

Attention Homeowners: It’s not just your contractor that needs to be registered with us Posted on Nov 9

Attention Homeowners: It’s not just your contractor that needs to be registered with us

  The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation oversees the registration of contractors performing improvements or renovations on detached one to four family homes. Prior to performing work on such homes, a contractor must be registered as a Home Improvement Contractor (“HIC”). What some   …Continue Reading Attention Homeowners: It’s not just your contractor that needs to be registered with us

Veterans Day is November 11th Posted on Nov 7

  This Veterans Day, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, together with its regulatory agencies, acknowledges and extends sincere gratitude to all the men and women who have served our country. It is important to remind our veterans, active duty service members, and their families of   …Continue Reading Veterans Day is November 11th

The Primark Data Breach: What their customers need to know Posted on Nov 4

The Primark Data Breach: What their customers need to know

  Irish retailer Primark announced on November 3, 2016 that skimmers were found on point-of-sale terminals in all five of their U.S. locations, including the Downtown Crossing, Boston location.  According to Primark, the skimmers were discovered on October 17 and officials believe the devices may   …Continue Reading The Primark Data Breach: What their customers need to know

Mail Fraud: Why that “You Hit the Jackpot” notice belongs in Junk Mail Posted on Oct 31

Mail Fraud: Why that “You Hit the Jackpot” notice belongs in Junk Mail

  Everyday thousands of Americans win a free prize. They are the lucky recipients of a luxury vacation, a new car, or even just some cold-hard cash. Except, they’re not. For years, thieves have been notifying consumers of their winnings in an attempt to scam   …Continue Reading Mail Fraud: Why that “You Hit the Jackpot” notice belongs in Junk Mail

Forced Arbitration: What the CFPB is doing to further protect consumers Posted on Oct 27

  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, was created by the federal government as a result of passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to regulate financial products and protect consumers in the market. What is “forced arbitration?” Forced arbitration   …Continue Reading Forced Arbitration: What the CFPB is doing to further protect consumers

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Posted on Oct 24

Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Looking for health insurance for you or your family and your employer doesn’t offer it? The Commonwealth’s Health Insurance Connector’s Open Enrollment begins this year on November 1, and continues through January 31st, 2017. Massachusetts and federal law prohibit consumers from purchasing an insurance plan outside of the Open Enrollment period unless there is a qualifying event, such as a birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, loss of insurance through employer, etc.