Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Practice Safe Commerce

Posted By on March 9, 2010, 3:07 PM

Consumer Protection Week kicks off today with state and federal consumer protection watchdogs urging the public to beware of fraudulent hucksters and their “free” weight loss sample products and duplicitous work-at-home kits. Some call it fraud--most in Utah government call it “market forces”—po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.---

Today, Francine Giani the Executive Director for the Department of Commerce joined U.S. Postal Inspector Randy Tuckett to help kick off National Consumer Protection Week for March 7-13.

The top regulators warned of shysters aplenty in Utah and across the country still plying deceptive business practices to be wary of. According to the press release, a survey by the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness found that:

  • Two out of three adults say they receive at least one potential scam contact per week
  • 18 percent of adults say they or a family member have fallen prey to one these scams

Bad news! Especially bad for Utah, where the state Consumer Protection Division has noticed an uptick in complaints from 3,758 in 2008 to 3,995 in fiscal year 2009. Utah’s top scheme of ne’er-do-wells involved internet offers too good to be true, often involving secret charges to consumer’s credit cards. These scam made up 27 percent of all of Utah’s complaints.

For a full list of scams in Utah and the nation clickety here. For more tips on sniffing out a bad deal before it’s too late check out Consumer Protection’s helpful site.

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