SOMERVILLE, MA -----
The Consumer Advocacy & Response Division (CARD) is promoting consumer education during National Consumer Protection Week, (March 5- 11). Know your rights and avoid scams. Visit consumer.ftc.gov for consumer protection tips and materials.
The (CARD) are consumer specialist trained to assist you directly in seeking the resolve problems with businesses and answer any questions you may have. If necessary they may refer you to a wide network of available consumer assistance and legal aid resources.
Some of their assistance covers the following issues:
- Defective products;
- Car Sales and financing;
- Telemarketing scans;
- Debt collection;
- Mortgage servicing;
- Home improvement contracts;
- Utility bills; and
- Identity Theft
For more details see the CARD Brochure.
Consumer Complaint forms are now available. If you seek an accommodation due to a disability or have an urgent complaint you may call the Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-4765 TTY.
**The Elder Hotline (888) 243-5337: This dedicated hotline operates as part of (CARD) and can assist older Massachusetts residents. Trained staff is knowledgeable of the more common consumer problems that affect older residents of Massachusetts.
Question 1: What happens if you have paid money to a scammer with a credit card or debit card?
Answer: Call your credit card company immediately using the phone number you have on your monthly card statement, alert them to the fraudulent charge right away. Ask if you will be eligible to get your money back, and ask to get a new card with a new number to prevent more fraudulent charges. You may report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission. You may file a complaint online to the FTC. You can subscribe to FTC alerts.
Question 2: Why do I keep getting these Robo-calls?
Answer: If you get a call from an unknown number. Do not answer! These would be Robocalls.
Question 3: I think someone is using my identity, what should I do?
Answer: Ok, some warning signs of identity theft, as reported by the Federal Trade Commission are:
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
- You don't get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- You get a notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
If this is familiar, notify the fraud department, ask them to freeze/close the accounts and change your login, password, and pins for the accounts.
Place a free, 90-day fraud alert to one of the credit bureaus. Report the identity theft to the FTC online, or call 1- 877-438-4338, include as many details as possible.