For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2012
County gears up for Consumer Protection Week
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs is joining with federal, state, and local government agencies and national organizations to celebrate the 14th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) from March 5 through March 9.
This year, the county’s efforts will focus on making residents better consumers by helping them to protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft and avoid frauds and scams by hosting a weeklong open house at the Consumer Affairs office in the Hall of Records Annex office at 1 East Main St. in Freehold. The open house hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“People are watching every dollar they spend, so it’s good to know there is a place to turn for help,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the county’s Department of Consumer Affairs. “I encourage residents to stop by the department during the open house and learn about ways to prevent identity theft, avoid fraud and become a savvy shopper.”
Consumer Affairs staff will be available to answer questions about consumer problems and provide information about how to be a sharper consumer.
“There are many ways to become a better consumer,” county Consumer Affairs Director said Annmarie Howley said. “Visiting our office is a great first step. We can tell people what to ask when signing a home improvement contract, buying a car, looking at a credit report and so much more.”
The Consumer Affairs department is a law enforcement agency, created and funded by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It protects against consumer fraud and dishonest and unscrupulous business practices by enforcing the state Consumer Fraud Act and other regulations. This is one of the many important ways the county is able to assist residents.
Last year, the department mediated more than 600 complaints and recovered more than $300,000 for consumers. Since the county’s Department of Consumer Affairs was established in 1977, it has handled more than 50,000 complaints and resolved disputes, resulting in savings to consumers of more than $12 million.
During National Consumer Protection Week, county Consumer Affairs investigators will also be in the field making sure synthetic marijuana, soon to become an illegal substance, is off the shelves.
Additional information about fraud and other consumer protection programs can be found on the county Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com or by calling 732-431-7900.
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