Chicago, IL – February 26, 2009 – Consumer protection information and brochures will be among the free items available from the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois from 8:30AM to 3:00PM on March 5, 2009, in the lobby of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. in Chicago, as the BBB joins federal, state, and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations in the 11th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 1-7, 2009. The theme of this year’s event is “Nuts and Bolts: Tools for Today’s Economy.”
National Consumer Protection Week focuses on giving consumers the tools they need to make smart financial decisions in today’s marketplace. This information can help people get the most for their money, whether they are trying to stretch their paychecks, find a quick fix for a spotty credit history, or distinguish the difference between a real deal and a potentially fraudulent product or service.
"The Better Business Bureau is proud to be part of this year’s National Consumer Protection Week campaign,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. “In times like these, information is one commodity that retains its value. We invite everyone to visit www.consumer.gov/ncpw and www.bbb.org for the tools they can use to make smart choices in the marketplace.”
The BBB offers the following tips on making smart financial decisions:
- Three Bid Rule: Obtain three bids and carefully compare them before you begin construction or any other type of work on your home or business.
- Check Them Out: Check out a business before you spend money on any product or service. Visit www.bbb.org to view the BBB’s exclusive Reliability Report on the company.
- Signing Contracts: Never sign any contract that has blank spots or contains incomplete information about the work to be accomplished.
- Don’t Pay to Work: Jobs that require you to make some type of payment upfront before you begin work are typically scams.
- Shred It: Protect yourself against identity theft. Shred all documents that contain any financial information. This includes offers for new credit cards and loans.
The “For Consumers” section of the BBB Web site (www.bbb.org) provides consumers hundreds of specific, easy-to-understand tips including: how to get a free credit report, how to spot a telemarketing scam, dealing with debt, deterring and detecting identity theft, avoiding home and auto repair scams, and how to file a consumer complaint with the appropriate authorities.