Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is joining with over 30 federal, state, and local government agencies, and national organizations to promote consumer education during the 14th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 4-10.
“We’re very excited to be a part of National Consumer Protection Week,” said Kim States, BBB President. “This week is all about teaching consumers the tools to make smarter purchasing decisions, and that’s exactly what we plan to do.”
Each weekday during NCPW, BBB will issue a consumer protection tip via its Facebook page- www.facebook.com/soazbbb- on a variety of consumer related issues, such as credit and debit cards, buying a car, giving wisely to charity and other important marketplace issues. Consumers are more than welcome to offer their input or pose any questions they might have about each tip on BBB’s Facebook page.
One of BBB’s many partners in NCPW, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), recently issued its Consumer Sentinel Network Report for 2011. The FTC uses data from 27 federal and state law enforcement agencies, and a host of private entities- including BBB- to create the report. Some of the 2011 report’s findings included:
- Arizona ranks seventh in the U.S. in fraud complaints, and fourth in identity theft complaints.
- The Sierra Vista-Douglas metro area ranks 48th in the country for identity theft complaints.
- Arizona consumers filed 32,195 fraud complaints and 6,296 identity theft complaints last year with BBB, the FTC, and other law enforcement agencies.
- The top three national complaint categories in 2011 were: identity theft, debt collection, and sweepstakes/lotteries.
- Wire transfer services, such as Western Union, were used in 53 percent of fraud crimes committed in 2011.