In my many years of working in and around government I have been continually frustrated with the maze of bureaucracy and its constant growth.  When I look at how many State and Federal agencies are listed in the various directories I often wonder how and why they were conceived and what the people who work there actually do!!

One exception to that disjointed chaos is the Federal Trade Commission. 

If you believe you’ve been scammed in any way by any purchases of products of services you made during the holidays and you are getting the “run around” in your attempts to resolve the problem, there is another avenue you may wish to explore.  You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. 

As you visit their web site you will find that the FTC receives and investigates complaints from consumers in a number of categories.  These include: 

File A Consumer Complaint about any product or service that you have purchased if you feel you have been cheated out of your hard earned money.

Report Identity Theft – An ever increasing problem in this country that the FTC has been involved with for some years and has developed a high level of expertise it is willing to share.  More on this later.

Get Your Free Credit Report – Their web site has a direct link to FreeCreditReport.com that guides you to the site and provides you with some helpful hints on what to look for when reading your report.

File A Complaint About the Credit Bureaus – If you have problems with your creditors or the three major credit bureaus and they are not being resolved to your satisfaction you can file a complaint with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  a sister agency to the FTC at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/Complaint/.

This new agency was created by the Obama Administration at the urging of Senator Warren of Massachusetts.  Previously, the complaint process was under the FTC’s jurisdiction and they are still able to provide you with some assistance in this area.

Finally, as you explore the remainder of the site you will find links to social media and a blog site that welcomes you to contribute.  Like every entity that deals with consumers it has its detractors, but overall the comments are positive

 

More on Identity Theft

In the past few years this topic has steadily moved up the priority list at the FTC.  The number of complaints has increased steadily and is becoming a major problem.  In fact, there is now some concern that street gangs have discovered ID theft as an alternative to committing robberies or selling drugs!!

At Debtrpros21 we have some helpful hints for you that may prevent that catastrophe.  Turn to the home page of our web site and create an account.  Then enter the user name and password to log in and click on the heading entitled “Members Area.” You can then download our common sense guideline on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft. While you can’t entirely control whether you will become a victim of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You may catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit bureaus. See www.annualcreditreport.com for details on ordering a free annual credit report.

You can learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam at ftc.gov/spam

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad

Treat your mail and trash disposal carefully.

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