For Immediate Release - March 02, 2012

AG Coakley’s Office Celebrates 14th Annual National Consumer Protection Week

AG Coakley’s Office to Host Consumer Education Events Statewide

BOSTON – In an effort to better inform and protect consumers, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office will participate in National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 4-10, 2012.  During the 14th annual NCPW, consumer protection agencies nationwide will share tips and information on financial literacy topics including managing money, avoiding fraud and scams and safeguarding against identity theft. 

“National Consumer Protection Week educates consumers to make more informed decisions and encourages them to exercise their rights in the marketplace,” AG Coakley said. “It is important for people to know that there are free consumer services available through our office to help them if they believe they have been victimized or scammed, or if they need consumer advice.” 

Throughout 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.  Details for each event are available on AG Coakley’s NCPW web page http://www.ncpw.gov/.

The Attorney General’s Office offers many services that can help consumers with their problems, questions and concerns.  In 2011, the Attorney General’s Office recovered more than $4.3 million dollars on behalf of individual consumers, resolving more than 7,600 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, public events, grant announcements and the Attorney General’s public appearances.  The Attorney General’s Office currently has more than 6,000 followers on Twitter.

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/.

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