Commissioner Putnam Provides Tips to Consumers During National Consumer Protection Week
March 2, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 1-7 is National Consumer Protection Week, a coordinated, nationwide effort to educate consumers on how to protect themselves from scams. Protecting Florida’s consumers is one of Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam’s top priorities.
“Consumer education is a key component in preventing fraud. We offer various resources and tips to equip consumers with the knowledge they need to protect themselves,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides numerous resources for consumers, including the following:
Several events will be held in Tallahassee, Miami and other locations to educate consumers about frauds and scams and to provide them with information about how the department can help.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is available Monday through Friday to assist consumers with gathering information about a business, charity or other organization. The department can also help consumers file a complaint if they feel they have been taken advantage of. Call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832).
The department’s website also has a Live Chat function available to assist consumers with information and complaints. Click “Live Chat” from the department’s home page.
The Little Black Book of Scams provides tips on avoiding charity scams, identity theft, tax scams, foreign lotteries and more.
Consumers who are planning on donating money to charity should research in the Gift Givers’ Guide. This will help consumers know how much each charity gives to its cause.
Consumers who are receiving unwanted sales calls at home should sign up for the state’s Do Not Call list. It only takes one minute, and it is free.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview, provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency. Consumers can get tips or file a complaint at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Consumer-Services.
Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832).