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Read Attorney General Josh Stein’s Top Five Consumer Tips

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Our office has seen thousands of consumer complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the FTC, scam reports skyrocketed last year, especially among older Americans. Fear and confusion around the coronavirus, stimulus payments, vaccines, and testing led to new angles for scammers to steal North Carolinians’ hard-earned money. During National Consumer Protection Week, our office is sharing information about how to avoid these scams.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Don’t respond to unsolicited offers. Be cautious when responding to telemarketers, door-to-door sellers, and email or text pitches. Instead of responding to unsolicited offers, decide when and where you want to go shopping, and do business with companies you know or that come recommended by those you trust. Check out companies with the Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or your local Better Business Bureau before making major purchases. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Never give out your personal information like a Social Security Number, credit card or bank account number, or other personal information to anyone you don’t know who contacts you.
  3. When in doubt, pay with a credit card. Credit cards give you protection if your order doesn’t arrive or the work isn’t completed.
  4. Join the Do Not Call registry to cut down on unwanted telemarketing calls. To sign up, call 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register or visit www.donotcall.gov. Once you’re on the list, report Do No Call violators to the Attorney General’s Office. The Do Not Call registry won’t block all unwanted calls, so if you have a smartphone, contact your telephone provider to install their free call-blocking or call-labeling tools.
  5. Check your credit report regularly. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year from each nationwide credit bureau. To access your free credit reports, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. To protect your credit history and cut down on incidents of identity theft, visit our website to learn how to get a free security freeze.

If you think you or someone you know have been scammed, let us know by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing an online complaint at www.ncdoj.gov/complaint. Share Attorney General Stein’s consumer tips with your friends and family, and especially older North Carolinians. This Consumer Protection Week, let’s all do our part to keep our money and personal information safe from scammers.

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