Congressman Brian Higgins recognized National Consumer Protection Week 2015, which is a coordinated effort between federal agencies, state governments and nonprofit partner resources to inform and protect Americans about their rights as consumers.
"Technology has given consumers greater choice and variety than ever before, but has also introduced new opportunities for fraud and deception," Higgins said. "Efforts such as the Do Not Call Registry, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, AnnualCreditReport.com and other resource provide tools that empower, protect and educate consumers."
The Federal Trade Commission, together with the Federal Communications Commission, established the National Do Not Call Registry Oct. 1, 2003, to guard consumers against unsolicited and unwanted telephone calls. Consumers may sign up online at www.donotcall.gov or by telephone at 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number they wish to register. The Do Not Call Registry currently has more than 221 million telephone numbers registered.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was formed in 1972 as an independent federal agency to ensure the safety of consumer goods, and protect the Americans from unreasonable injury or death from purchased products. Through its searchable databases, including www.Recalls.gov and www.SaferProducts.gov, consumers can look into the safety of specific items and report products that appear to be hazardous.
To make educated financial decisions and prevent identity theft, Higgins' camp said regular review of one's individual credit report is critical. Through the FTC and AnnualCreditReport.com, consumers can request a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit-reporting companies once every 12 months, as authorized under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 2003.
While there are many credit-reporting services that purport to be free of charge, AnnualCreditReport.com is the sole website authorized by federal law to order a report.
National Consumer Protection Week occurs annually during the first week of March. Consumer protection resources are available all year through the participating organizations. For more information about protecting yourself as a consumer, visit www.ncpw.gov and Higgins's official website.