Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Celebrates 2011 National Consumer Protection Week
During NCPW, staff from the Attorney General's Boston office and regional offices, located in Springfield, Worcester and New Bedford, and Local Consumer Programs funded by the office, will present a series of presentations, informational workshops and information tables across the state to help consumers make more informed financial decisions, avoid becoming the victims of fraud, and better safeguard their finances. Topics include: financial literacy, credit regulations, scams and identity theft, landlord and tenant rights, lemon laws, and debt collection. Details for each event are available on Attorney General Coakley's NCPW web page www.mass.gov/ago/ncpw.
The Attorney General's Office offers many services that can help consumers with their problems, questions and concerns. In 2010, the Attorney General's Office recovered over $4.7 million dollars on behalf of individual consumers, resolving over 7,500 complaints filed by Massachusetts residents relevant to health care, consumer, and elder issues. The Attorney General's Public Inquiry & Assistance Center Hotline answers thousands of calls each year from consumers concerning a wide range of consumer protection issues. The office also staffs an Elder Hotline, dedicated to problems facing seniors, and an Insurance & Health Care Helpline to assist consumers with questions pertaining to insurance and health care in the Commonwealth. The office also works with certain community-based Local Consumer Programs and Face-to-Face mediation programs that are situated around the state and partner with the Attorney General's Office to mediate consumer complaints.
The Attorney General's Office also conducts outreach through its blog and Twitter account to share important information and tips with consumers. The blog, At Issue and In Focus, is dedicated to a wide range of issues the office handles, including energy and utilities, consumer protection, charitable giving, and cyber safety and provides consumers with vital information and updates on consumer protection and financial literacy topics. The Twitter account informs the public about case announcements, new blog posts, public events, grant announcements and the Attorney General's public appearances. The Attorney General's Office currently has over 4,000 followers on Twitter.
The Attorney General's Office also has many materials available for download on its website www.mass.gov/ago. Items include:
- The Attorney General's Guide to Consumer Credit
- Fair Debt Collection
- Fair Credit Reporting
- Credit Card Costs
- Guide to Landlord/Tennant Rights
- The Attorney General's Guide to Retail Rights
- Identity Theft: It Could Happen to You
- Guide to Gift Cards and Gift Certificates
Comprehensive information regarding consumer services offered by the Attorney General's Office including tips, advice, and materials for download are available on the Attorney General's website www.mass.gov/ago. Additional information, materials, and discussions regarding the week, its events, and participating agencies is available on the NCPW website http://www.ncpw.gov/.