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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the Wisconsin Department of Justice today joined with state and local government agencies and consumer protection organizations from around the county in announcing the 12th Annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 7-13. The goal of this coordinated consumer education campaign is to encourage individuals across the country to take full advantage of their consumer rights.
Dollars & Sense: Rated "A" for All Ages is the theme of this year's education campaign and highlights the importance of using good consumer sense at every stage of life from grade school to retirement. In recognition of NCPW 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Justice in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions are promoting free resources to help people protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft, understand credit and mortgages, and steer clear of frauds and scams. Visit both DATCP and DFI's websites for useful information on all these consumer topics. http://www.wdfi.org and http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/core/consumerprotection/consumerprotection.jsp
"New scams are being developed every day and often seek to take advantage of an individual's trust and good will. Information is key to empowering consumers to give them the tools needed as they lookout for potential scams," said Attorney General Van Hollen. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice encourages everyone to visit the website, www.consumer.gov, for tips about making smarter decisions in the marketplace."
National Consumer Protection Week organizations this year are reaching out to kids, focusing on websites, videos and games designed for a younger audience. It's essential that kids understand key consumer and business concepts, like credit and identity theft, banking and fraud, and marketing and advertising.
For the first time, the NCPW website features a blog, where visitors can discover new consumer resources in an informal and interactive environment. Visitors have the opportunity to connect directly with representatives of public and private consumer protection organizations.
"Markets, whether financial or consumer, function best without fraud," said Van Hollen. "Consumers shouldn't have to contend with false and misleading representations in the marketplace when they make purchasing decisions."