March 6, 2020 – SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has shared consumer resources and tools from the California Department of Justice in recognition of National Consumer Protection Week. These resources can be found at www.oag.ca.gov/consumers.
“Consumers, especially those made vulnerable by age or language barrier, are constant targets for scammers and fraudulent business practices,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We encourage the public to utilize these consumer protection tips and learn how to spot, avoid, and report consumer-related schemes.”
Helpful Consumer Resources:
- Money, Credit, and Debt – Consumers can learn how to protect their hard-earned money and watch out for financial scams, including how to deal with banks, credit card issues, loans, debts, and other financial matters.
- Housing and Vehicles – Consumers can find resources for landlords, tenants and for other housing-related topics, as well as learn about auto-related issues including auto repair, insurance, and car rentals.
- Sales Offers, Purchases, and Returns – Consumers can discover how to protect themselves from scam sales offers, as well as learn about topics ranging from checking a company’s background to spotting the warning signs for scams related to credit cards, zero-interest financing, crowdfunding, trial products, junk mail, magazine scams, sweepstakes, online purchases, and online privacy threats.
- Contractors, Consultants, and Other Companies – Consumers can learn how to vet – or report complaints about – contractors, immigration consultants, financial advisors, attorneys, investment professionals, estate planners, tax preparers and tax scams, tech support scams, travel agents, and healthcare providers.
- Commonly Targeted Groups – Unfortunately, scammers often target certain groups of consumers, including immigrants and limited-English consumers, seniors, veterans, students, and children. In addition, helpful information on military consumer protection issues including scam alerts, and resources and tips for financial readiness, are available on the Attorney General’s Military Consumer Protection page.
- Common Scams – Consumer can learn how to protect themselves from common scams, including charity scams, identity theft, living trust mills, loan modification fraud, and pyramid schemes.
- Report Misconduct – Attorney General Becerra urges consumers to report complaints if they suspect misconduct. Complaints regulated by other government agencies should be reported directly those regulating agencies. Consumers can find the appropriate agency and contact information using the complaint referral table offered on the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.ca.gov/consumers/complaint-referral-table. Consumers seeking to file a complaint against a business not regulated by another agency may file directly with the Attorney General’s office by calling (800) 952-5225 or visiting www.oag.ca.gov/complaint.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting California consumers. Previously, he issued investigative subpoenas requiring Facebook to produce answers and documents related to its business practices including, among others, the management of its relationship with Cambridge Analytica. He also announced a $120 million nationwide settlement with Johnson & Johnson to resolve allegations that the company violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the effectiveness and safety of its hip implant devices. He furthermore filed a lawsuit against Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company, alleging that the company engaged in false advertising, made false statements on credit applications, and deceived customers regarding add-on products and additional charges. Recently, Attorney General Becerra issued an advisory for consumers highlighting their new rights as part of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2020.
Source: CA. DOJ