MADISON - To encourage Wisconsinites to protect themselves against consumer scams, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is observing National Consumer Protection Week, March 5-9, 2012.
“Knowledge is a consumer’s best defense against fraud and deception,” said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection. “Whether you want the latest consumer alert delivered right to your cellphone, or you prefer to call the Consumer Hotline, the most important thing is that you take advantage of the resources available to you.”
Educate yourself on consumer protection issues through these DATCP resources:
Sign up at the DATCP website (datcp.wi.gov) to receive email or text alerts about scams, consumer safety tips and general “need to know” consumer information. Recent Consumer Alerts have included a warning about the “Gameover” malware virus scam and a notice about the circulation of false information regarding the National No Call Registry.
To sign up for Consumer Alerts or any other DATCP news releases, enter your email address in the box labeled “Sign up for email updates” on the DATCP homepage and click the “Go” button. After re-entering your email address for confirmation, you can choose the updates you wish to receive from a comprehensive list. Select “Consumer Alerts” under the “Consumer Protection” group.
You can also follow this process to receive DATCP press release updates by text message. On the page where you are asked to confirm your email address, switch the “Subscription Type” from “Email” to “SMS/Text Message” and enter your phone number.
From advertising to warranties, the DATCP website is an excellent source for consumer information. A great place to start is the factsheets page, where you can find nearly 200 multi-page pamphlets on a range of consumer topics including landlord/tenant issues, motor vehicle repair, avoiding identity theft, identifying scams and much more. A number of factsheets are available in Hmong and Spanish through the website.
To reach the factsheets page, visit datcp.wi.gov, click on “Consumer” in the top menu and choose “Factsheets & Publications.”
Additional valuable resources on the DATCP website include:
- “Ready Reference Guide” – an online guide with more than 250 pages of consumer contacts, organized by topic
- "The Wisconsin Way” – a booklet outlining the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in our state
- “Consumer Law at Your Fingertips” – an electronic reference guide providing a “plain language” breakdown of basic Wisconsin consumer protection laws
Wisconsin’s No Call List
National Consumer Protection Week is a great time to sign up for Wisconsin’s No Call List. With more than two million phone numbers currently registered, Wisconsin residents clearly are interested in keeping unwanted sales calls to a minimum.
“Telemarketing has been the top consumer complaint received by our agency for the past nine years in a row,” noted Chalmers. “Signing up for Wisconsin’s No Call List is the best way to ward off intrusive calls on your home and mobile phones.”
To sign up for the list, visit nocall.wisconsin.gov or call toll-free 1-866-9NO-CALL (1-866-966-2255). By registering during National Consumer Protection Week, your number will be added to the list for June 1st.
DATCP Social Media Sites
DATCP shares agency news, press releases and useful tips and information through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Connect with us:
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/widatcp
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/widatcp
- YouTube – www.youtube.com/widatcp
DATCP operates Wisconsin’s consumer information hotline, where consumers can check out a company before they do business with them; inquire about an offer that seems “too good to be true;” and reach out for assistance with issues such as billing disputes, deceptive advertising, identity theft and faulty products and services.
Consumers can contact the hotline staff by e-mail at DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov or through our toll-free hotline at 1-800-422-7128.