National Consumer Protection Week: Find out how the BBB can help you become a savvier consumer

March 03, 2010
Columbia, SC - 03/03/2010 -March 7 is the kickoff to National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) and the Better Business Bureau is a proud supporter of this nationwide effort to educate the public on how to become savvier consumers. For anyone looking for advice on how to spend money wisely, your Better Business Bureau is here to help, not just during National Consumer Protection Week but all year long.

For NCPW, hundreds of national and local organizations work together to educate consumers on the importance of taking control of their personal finances. The theme of this year's NCPW is Dollars and Sense, Rated A for All Ages and highlights consumer education for every stage of life - from grade school to retirement.

"The economy is still in a slump and, now more than ever, consumers need to take control of their spending habits and be vigilant against fraud and scams," said Jim Camp, BBB of Central SC and Charleston CEO. "We encourage everyone to take time to get educated during National Consumer Protection Week and keep the BBB in their back pocket as a tool for protecting their hard earned dollars in the coming year."

The following are just a few ways that the BBB can help consumers shop smarter and safer. The BBB is here to help if...

· You need every-day advice on how to manage your money and be a savvy consumer. The BBB has created hundreds of tips columns and consumer alerts on personal finance topics such as how to build a family budget, hire a contractor or avoid the latest scams. Advice you can trust is available online at

· You need help finding a business you can trust. The BBB Accredited Business Locator can help you find businesses in your area that uphold the BBB's rigorous standards and have made a commitment to support the work of the BBB. There are nearly 400,000 BBB Accredited Businesses across North America including retailers, contractors and online businesses.

· You want to research a business before you buy. The BBB maintains reports on nearly 4 million businesses across North America. A business's reliability report will tell you how many complaints the business has received, how they responded to complaints and their letter-grade rating reflecting the BBB's experience with the business.

· You have a dispute with a business. Not only is the BBB here to help educate consumers before they buy, the BBB can also lend a hand if you have a dispute with a business. Every year the BBB receives hundreds of thousands of complaints from disgruntled consumers and is usually able to help resolve the issue quickly and easily.

· You have been ripped off by a scammer. While the BBB isn't a law enforcement agency and cannot arrest scammers or unscrupulous businesses, your complaint enables the BBB to identify trends and warn other consumers and hopefully prevent others from being taken advantage of as well.

Check out all of the online resources and tools the BBB provides at More information and advice is also available on the National Consumer Protection Week Web site,