The federal government teams up with nonprofits to empower consumers
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Consumer Protection Week 2011 runs from March 6 – 12, but the benefits of consumer information from the government last all year long.
The nationwide campaign features the website NCPW.gov, a clearinghouse of consumer resources created through a partnership between the federal government and nonprofit agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
The goal of the campaign is to empower consumers by informing them of their rights while offering useful information on such topics as consumer privacy, online security and identity theft.
The campaign highlights several consumer resources, but one of the most important ones is the Consumer Action Handbook. You can order your free copy or download a PDF version online. Please allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery for your orders.
The handbook features:
- General tips on buying products and services as well as in-depth explanations on consumer's rights and responsibilities
- Instructions on how to file a complaint, including a sample letter of complaint that consumers can use when trying to resolve a dispute
- A directory of government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations dedicated to consumer issues
National Consumer Protection Week also highlights OnGuardOnline.gov, a website that provides tips on a variety of online security topics including how to protect yourself against Internet fraud, how to secure your computer and how to protect your personal information.
You can also find tips about safe internet behavior for parents and children, including guidelines for safe interactions in the social media world. Other topics include:
- Precautions you should consider when sharing information online
- Appropriate behavior when interacting with others online
- What to do in case you're a victim of cyber bullying
Other Resources for Consumers
NCPW.gov features a blog with in-depth articles on some of the most important consumer issues today, such as how to save your home and avoid scams, tips on using public wireless networks, and settling your credit card debt without going broke.
Besides the blog, the website links to government and nonprofit websites that offer resources to consumers, including:
- Better Business Bureau: a nonprofit organization that, among other things, advances marketplace trust by denouncing substandard marketplace behavior
- AARP: a nonprofit organization that helps people who are more than 50 years old improve the quality of their lives
- Federal Citizen Information Center: the center is a one-stop source for answers to questions about consumer problems and government services
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: besides insuring our banks, the FDIC offers consumer-related information