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National Consumer Protection Week Q&A

We hosted a live Twitter chat yesterday as part of National Consumer Protection Week. We partnered with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to answer your questions about consumer topics, like identity theft, scams and fraud.

You can find some of the most useful questions and answers below:

Question: Where/how do I file complaint online?
Answer: You can find links to file consumer complaints on USA.gov. If the complaint is about a financial product (like a mortgage) or service, learn how to submit a complaint.

Question: What’s the agency’s position on regulations enforcing simpler, shorter contracts for bank issued consumer credit cards?
Answer: Check out the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe campaign to learn more about credit card agreements.

Question: What steps can consumers take if they suspect tax fraud?
Answer: You should contact the IRS if you expect tax fraud.

Question: How can we best protect our children from identity theft?
Answer: The FTC has resources about protecting kids’ identities.

Question: What happens after a consumer complaint? Is there consumer feedback?
Answer: Yes! It’s the fourth step in the CFPB’s complaint process. You can find the consumer complaint database online.

Question: Any new informational videos or mobile apps focused on consumer protection available or in the works?
Answer: We have compiled some consumer protection videos on our YouTube channel. Many government agencies offer mobile apps to protect consumers. You can see the full list in the mobile app gallery on apps.usa.gov

Question: What are we doing about crushing student debt? It’s killing the American Dream
Answer: Great question. Check out the CFPB’s Domino Effect campaign for more information about dealing with student debt.

Question: What should you do if you’ve been contacted by a scammer impersonating the government?
Answer: This is the worst. Here’s advice from the CFPB on recognizing a government impersonator. File complaints about scammers at ftc.gov/complaint. Learn more about government imposters.

Question: What new resources do you have about the intersection of social media and consumer protection?
Answer: You can use social media profiles to interact with companies when you have a complaint and protect your rights. The FTC has lots of information on social media and endorsements, background checks, debt collection, and more at www.business.ftc.gov.

Question: What’s the number one tip to avoid a health care scam or health insurance fraud?
Answer: One tip: Beware of "medical discount" scams. They say they’re insurance, but they aren’t.

Question: If consumers discover they’re the victim of identity theft, what are the easiest steps to take to repair the damage?
Answer: If you’re a victim of identity theft, take these steps immediately to help repair it. If you’re unable to remove incorrect information from your credit report, file a complaint with the CFPB.

Find all the questions and answers from our NCPW chat on Twitter.