Consumer helpline, mediation services, consumer education help protect New Yorkers from fraud & scams
Submitted by the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection
For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection highlights its resources that help consumers navigate today’s evolving marketplace.
The Division of Consumer Protection is committed to assisting, protecting, educating and empowering New Yorkers and offers a variety of resources and tips to help New Yorkers stay safe and informed of their rights as consumers.
“Our Division of Consumer Protection is committed to helping keep New Yorkers safe from fraudulent activities and unscrupulous businesses,” Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “Scams and fraud are becoming more advanced and targeted every single day, and our consumer protection team has a variety of useful resources available for New Yorkers so they can stay informed, because we know an informed consumer is a smart consumer.”
The mission of the DCP is to protect, educate and advocate for consumers in an ever-changing economy. From educating the public on marketplace scam prevention, to protecting New Yorkers with direct assistance and mediation services on a variety of consumer complaints, to advocating consumers’ interest before legislative and regulatory bodies, DCP puts consumers first.
Resources Available to Help New Yorkers
•Consumer Helpline: 1-800-697-1220: The consumer helpline is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays by consumer advisers who provide identity theft counseling, guidance on scams and frauds, and information on businesses’ and companies’ reputability, as well as help consumers file a marketplace complaint.
•Mediation Services: The consumer assistance program mediates and resolves thousands of consumer complaints each year on a variety of issues, such as:
√ Billing disputes
√ Refund policies
√ Credit reporting errors
√ Non-delivery of goods and services
√ Home improvement disputes and more
Any time a consumer has spent money in the marketplace on a good or service and did not get what they bargained for, DCP encourages them to file a complaint online at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection or call the consumer helpline at 800-697-1220 to request a complaint form.
•Consumer Education: DCP publishes brochures, pamphlets and other educational materials on a variety of topics. The division provides timely and relevant consumer alerts, tips and product recall notices to keep consumers informed, safe and empowered.
•Live Consumer Protection Presentations: DCP offers educational seminars and workshops for community groups, local governments, advocacy and grassroots organizations, business associations, faith-based entities and professional service providers. Presentations available include:
√ Child Safety: Precautions to Save Little Lives
√ Credit and Credit Management: A Matter of Life and Debt
√ Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft
√ Safeguarding Your Child’s Identity
√ Stop, Think, Act: How to Recognize and Avoid Scams
√ Do Not Call Compliance: A Seminar for Business
Programming can be tailored to each organization, and each session is filled with current critical consumer protection guidance. For more information or to schedule a presentation, email [email protected] or call 518-486-3933.
About the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides resources and education materials to consumers, as well as voluntary mediation services between consumers and businesses. The consumer assistance helpline (1-800-697-1220) is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding state holidays. Consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection. For other consumer protection tips and consumer alerts, consumers can follow the New York Department of State on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check in every Tuesday for more practical tips that educate and empower consumers on a variety of topics. Sign up to receive consumer alerts directly to an email or phone here.