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Press Releases

03/07/2011

Consumers Urged to Learn About Staying Safe Online During Annual Consumer Protection Week

 

HARTFORD, March 7 – The Department of Consumer Protection is joining with federal, state, and local government agencies and organizations to celebrate the 13th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) this week, March 6-12, 2011.  During the week, groups at all levels nationwide are sharing tips and information to help consumers protect their privacy, manage money and debt, prevent identity theft, and avoid frauds and scams. 

This year, the Department is highlighting internet safety. Commissioner William M. Rubenstein is encouraging computer users to contact the Department for a free booklet, “Net Cetera,” which offers information and resources for online safety and specific tips for teaching children, preteens and teens how to protect themselves online.

On Friday, March 11, Department staff will be part of a showcase of consumer-focused information at the Concourse between the Legislative Office Building and the Capitol in Hartford. Members of the public are invited to visit the Concourse between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to speak with representatives of the Department of Consumer Protection, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Banking, the Better Business Bureau and several other groups about consumer issues and concerns. Free materials will be available as well.

“We want people to recognize that they are their own best protection against fraud, identity theft, and other scams, although help is always available when it’s needed,” Department of Consumer Protection William M. Rubenstein said. “I hope everyone will make it a point this week to take action for their own consumer protection – order and read free consumer materials, talk to children about staying safe online, install a computer firewall, order their free credit reports, or any number of little things that can really make a difference.”

“Net Cetera,” a booklet about online safety, was developed by OnGuard Online, a program of the Federal Trade Commission. Available in both English and Spanish, a free copy of either booklet can be requested by calling the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649, or by emailing dcp.communications@ct.gov. The booklets are also available online at www.ct.gov/dcp.

The Department of Consumer Protection is responsible for protecting citizens from physical injury and financial loss that may occur as the result of unsafe or fraudulent products and services marketed in Connecticut.  In addition to its licensing, regulation, enforcement and educational functions, the Department returned to consumers in 2010 nearly $2.8 million from the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund, $992,000 from the New-Home Construction Guaranty Fund, $34,657 from the Real Estate Guaranty Fund; $47,000 from the Health Club Guaranty Fund; and ordered restitution of $1.3 million to consumers for vehicle replacement through the “lemon law” arbitration program.

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