MAYOR’S OFFICE OF CONSUMER INFORMATION GEARS UP FOR 12TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK
March 4, 2010– Today, theMayor’s Office of Consumer Information, a local consumer protection office funded by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to serve residents of Hampden County, joins with federal, state and local government agencies and consumer protection organizations to announce the 12th Annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 7-13. This coordinated consumer education campaign encourages individuals across the country to take full advantage of their consumer rights.
This year’s theme -- Dollars & Sense: Rated “A” for All Ages -- highlights the importance of using good consumer sense at every stage of life – from grade school to retirement. In recognition of NCPW 2010, the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information and its partners are promoting free resources to help people protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft, understand credit and mortgages, and steer clear of frauds and scams.
"The message of National Consumer Protection Week 2010 is simple: It’s never too early or too late to become a more informed and empowered consumer,” said Milagros S. Johnson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information. “Regardless of your age or financial situation, there are useful lessons to learn about spending and managing money wisely. The Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information encourages everyone to visit the NCPW website, www.consumer.gov/ncpw or its website, www.springfieldcityhall.com, for tips about making smarter decisions in the marketplace. ”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated that “it’s important for consumers to know what their rights are.” “The City of Springfield is pleased to join municipalities across the country in recognizing National Consumer Protection Week to help raise awareness and educate consumers,” added Sarno.
This year, NCPW organizations are reaching out to kids, focusing on websites, videos and games designed for a younger audience. Kids under 12 spend billions of dollars on goods and services each year, so it makes sense to provide them with these valuable tools. It’s essential that kids understand key consumer and business concepts, like credit and identity theft, banking and fraud, and marketing and advertising. The resources highlighted on the NCPW website introduce these concepts and teach kids practical lessons about the role of business and government in their everyday lives.
In addition, for the first time, the NCPW website features a blog, where visitors can discover new consumer resources in an informal and interactive environment. Here, visitors have the opportunity to connect directly with representatives of public and private consumer protection organizations.
On Monday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 9, 2010, consumer advocates (both English and Spanish) of the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information will be available at the main United States Postal Office located at 1883 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon to answer consumer-related questions and to provide free brochures on a variety of topics, including but not limited to credit and identity theft.
National organizers of this year’s NCPW include AARP, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Federation of America, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Federal Citizen’s Information Center, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Association of Attorneys General, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, the National Consumers League, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Postal Service.
For more information about NCPW, visit www.consumer.gov/ncpw. To learn of your consumer rights or to request mediation, you may contact the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information at (413) 787-6437 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.