Friday Facts │January 29, 2016

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Government Information You Can Use


Quick Tips for Consumers

Telephone scans have become increasingly common in recent years for consumers. Get the facts and learn about how to avoid them by reading more on the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Phone Scams.
 
Do you want to get the most gas mileage out of your car? It’ll save you money, and help the environment! Check out the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Driving Efficiency Tips.

The Consumer Complaint Database from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a public search for companies, products, issues, and locations associated with consumer complaints across the nation.

You can find links to your local Consumer Advocate and order free handouts using the FTC.gov website. National Consumer Protection Week is March 6-12, 2016.

Current and back issues of Consumer Reports monthly magazine are available at the State Library, back to the mid-20th century. The Indianapolis Public Library and its branches hold current issues as well.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents  Coordinator

Brent Abercrombie
Federal Documents Coordinator

Justin Davis
Indiana Division Librarian


Indiana State Library

Join the FDLP-I litserv for the latest governent information.

The Indiana SDC/BIDC Network is on Facebook

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Consumer Rights – Federal Government Resources

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The federal government offers services and tips to help fight for your consumer rights. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection stops unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices by collecting complaints and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.

The FTC collects complaints regarding hundreds of issues from data security and false advertising to identity theft and Do Not Call violations. The FTC uses the registered complaints to bring cases, and share them with law enforcement agencies worldwide for follow-up.  Consumers can file complaints grouped by the following categories: identity theft, scams/rip-offs, unwanted telemarketing, mobile devices, internet services or online shopping, education or jobs, credit/dept, or other. For more information about your consumer rights, please visit the sites below:

Consumer.gov

Consumer Assistance and Information Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Filing a Consumer Complaint Against a Company USA.gov

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud FTC.gov

Securities Fraud Awareness & Prevention Tips FBI.gov

10 Ways to Avoid Fraud FTC.gov


Consumer Rights in Indiana

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On IndianaConsumer.com find the answers to questions on the minds of many Hoosier consumers just like you. Information on current topics such as identity theft, schemes and scams in the marketplace, rising fuel prices, prescription medication, and recalled products is just a click away on the state's one-stop resource for consumer information and education brought to you by the Indiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

The Consumer Services Department within the Indiana Department of Insurance protects consumers from illegal insurance practices by ensuring that insurance companies and producers that operate in Indiana act in accordance with State insurance laws. Find help with your insurance inquiry or file a complaint about health, life, automobile, and property and casualty insurance.

Consumers' financial rights are protected by federal and state laws and regulations covering many services offered by financial institutions including banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. View more information in this guide from the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions.

The Consumer Affairs Division of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ensures utility and customer compliance with IURC rules and regulations through reasonable and timely determinations. On the website, you will find information about the complaint process, utility-related issues, as well as instructions explaining how to access case-related information.The Indiana Office of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has several resources available for renters on their website, including dispute forms, tenant rights, landlord obligations, legal assistance, and more.

Indiana residents are entitled by law to rent a place to live or buy a home without consideration to their:  race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, familial status (having children under 18) and disability. The Indiana Civil Rights Commission explains the process for filing a housing discrimination complaint.

Indiana has standards of practice that apply to all regulated professions. The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and each of its boards and commissions oversees those standards along with laws and rules specific to each profession and provides the basis upon which boards impose discipline on licensed professionals.  Learn more about IPLA and the complaint process by which each of its boards and commissions can discipline license holders who have violated practice standards, acted dishonestly, or acted unethically.