Consumer Protection Information

Legal Information

Other Consumer Problems

Frustrated Woman.

This section of PALawHelp.org has resources about Consumer Protection information and issues in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Cyber Stalking and Harassment

This resource provides information for victims of cyber/virtual stalking on where to call for support and advice, how to create a personalized safety plan to secure your data, and steps to take to protect yourself from virtual stalking.

Helping Clients Explore Their Personal Finance Rights (Video)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this prerecorded webinar, in four short modules, to help consumers know their rights and call out potential violations. The modules include: Module 1: Consumer Rights [18:21]; Module 2: Credit and Housing Rights [16:14]; Module 3: Financial Products and Identify Theft Rights [15:59]; and Module 4: How to Submit a Complaint or Tell your Story [10:06]

CFPB Consumer Complaint

Consumer complaints regarding financial products and services can be submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

File a Complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center

Complaints filed via this website are processed and may be referred to federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for possible investigation.

FTC Consumer Complaint Form

Form used to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization. Complaints help the FTC investigate fraud and can lead to law enforcement action.

CFPB Consumer Complaint

Consumer complaints regarding financial products and services can be submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

File a Complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center

Complaints filed via this website are processed and may be referred to federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for possible investigation.

FTC Consumer Complaint Form

Form used to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization. Complaints help the FTC investigate fraud and can lead to law enforcement action.

Beware of Scams targeting College and Graduate Students

The Pennsylvania Attorney offers this warning to college students and their parents to be on the lookout for potential scams that are targeting these young adults.

Beware of Voting Scams

The Pennsylvania Attorney General offers information on scams related to voting and tricking donors into believing they are supporting their preferred political candidates.

Consumer Fotonovelas

As part of it's ongoing effort to raise awareness about scams targeting the Latino community, the FTC has developed a series of “fotonovelas” in Spanish. The stories are based on complaints to the FTC from Spanish speakers throughout the nation and offer practical tips to help detect and stop common scams.

Financial Planners or Scammers

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General about solicitations from so-called experts offering financial and estate planning services.

How can I tell the difference between e-mails from companies I do business with and scams trying to rip me off?

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General offering information on how to avoid email scams.

Inventor Beware

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Protect Yourself From Con Artists

Information from Northwestern Legal Services regarding how to protect yourself from con artists and things to be aware of to avoid being victimized by them.

Scams Targeting Senior Citizens in Pennsylvania (Video)

Three-part excerpt from Northwestern Legal Services' "Access to Justice" cable access television show broadcast on Erie Cablevision (Channel 2) in Erie, PA. June 28, 2007 Host: Robert Oakley, Esq., NWLS Director Guests: Linda J. Williams, Esq., Chief Deputy Attorney General of PA and John Tokarczyk, Senior Supervisory Agent, PA Bureau of Consumer Protection

Why Report Fraud? (Video)

This video from the Federal Trade Commission explains what to do if you think you see a scam and how to report it to the Federal Trade Commission to stop the scammers.

Work at Home Schemes

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General about the pitfalls of many offers of big money from working at home.

Bureau of Consumer Protection

Information from the Erie County Bar Association concerning PA Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Defending a Lawsuit

Information on how to defend a lawsuit provided by the Erie County Bar Association.

Harassment

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the offense of Harassment.

Home Improvement Contracts

Information from the Erie County Bar Association to help you when you enter into a home improvement contract.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

How to Safely Shop Online

Information from the American Bar Association to aid consumers in shopping over the Internet

Insurance Tips for Consumers

Helpful tips for consumers who are in the market for insurance from the Erie County Bar Association.

Inventor Beware

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Libel and Slander

Information on the law of libel and slander from the Erie County Bar Association.

Malpractice

Information on Malpractice, which is the general term which is applied to negligent conduct on the part of a doctor, dentist, lawyer, hospital, or other member of a given profession.

Small Claims Court

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the operation of the Magisterial District Court in Pennsylvania.

State and Federal Courts

A description of state and federal courts in PA from the Erie County Bar Association.

Avoid Foreclosure Rescue Scams (Video)

If you're facing foreclosure, it can be easy to listen to scammers trying to take advantage of this vulnerable time in your life. But don't be fooled — or robbed — by companies falsely promising to save your home. This video from the Federal Trade Commission presents some true stories of struggling homeowners who were deceived by foreclosure rescue scams.

Behind on Bills

This booklet provides a set of tools to fit your needs, whether that means short-term financial help, longer-term financial health, or something in between. The tools are designed to help you handle money emergencies, cut down on stress from mounting bills, and build your finances to where you want them to be.

Beware of Scams targeting College and Graduate Students

The Pennsylvania Attorney offers this warning to college students and their parents to be on the lookout for potential scams that are targeting these young adults.

Beware of Voting Scams

The Pennsylvania Attorney General offers information on scams related to voting and tricking donors into believing they are supporting their preferred political candidates.

Bureau of Consumer Protection

Information and services for consumers from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General provided by its Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Cell Phones and Cellular Calling Plans

The Pennsylvania Attorney General offers some tips when considering the purchase of a cellular phone and wireless plan.

CFPB Consumer Complaint

Consumer complaints regarding financial products and services can be submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Checklist for opening a bank or credit union account

Information you need to know when opening a checking or savings account bank or credit union.

Choosing a Career or Vocational School

Information from the Federal Trade Commission for consumers when considering vocational schools and career options.

Consumer Fotonovelas

As part of it's ongoing effort to raise awareness about scams targeting the Latino community, the FTC has developed a series of “fotonovelas” in Spanish. The stories are based on complaints to the FTC from Spanish speakers throughout the nation and offer practical tips to help detect and stop common scams.

Consumer.gov

Comprehensive resouce for consumer information from the federal government

Consumer Information from the Federal Trade Commission

This section of the FTC website offers practical information on a variety of consumer topics. The information here can help you avoid rip-offs and exercise your consumer rights.

Consumer Protection Relating to Automobiles

Various brochures from the Federal Trade Commission containing information consumers should be aware of relating to automobiles.

Deceptive Home Improvement Contractors Complaints

Information for home owners with HUD insured loans on avoiding deceptive home improvement contractors and how to file a complaint if you are a victim of fraud or abuse by a contractor.

Do Not Call List

Informational brochure on the Do Not Call law, which allows Pennsylvania residents to avoid unwanted telemarketing calls to their homes. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling anyone whose name is on the statewide Do Not Call list. [PDF]

Facebook Hack Tips

The Pennsylvania Attorney General provides consumers with tips on how to protect themselves from identity theft or other harm related to hacks where there personal information may have been illegally accessed or disclosed.

Federal Citizen Information Center

Consumer information from the Federal Citizen Information Center at Publications.USA.gov, formerly Pueblo.GSA.gov (Pueblo, Colorado).

FHA Reverse Mortgages (HECMs) for Seniors

Information about the FHA's Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program. The HECM is FHA's reverse mortgage program that enables you to withdraw a portion of your home's equity.

Financial Planners or Scammers

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General about solicitations from so-called experts offering financial and estate planning services.

Going, Going, Gone–Shopping On-line Auctions

The Pennsylvania Attorney General offers tips to help you know how to shop using online auction websites.

Helping Clients Explore Their Personal Finance Rights (Video)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this prerecorded webinar, in four short modules, to help consumers know their rights and call out potential violations. The modules include: Module 1: Consumer Rights [18:21]; Module 2: Credit and Housing Rights [16:14]; Module 3: Financial Products and Identify Theft Rights [15:59]; and Module 4: How to Submit a Complaint or Tell your Story [10:06]

Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act

Informational booklet on the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act that creates safeguards for consumers who hire contractors for home remodeling projects. [PDF]

How can I tell the difference between e-mails from companies I do business with and scams trying to rip me off?

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General offering information on how to avoid email scams.

How Scammers Tell You To Pay

This video from the Federal Trade Commission describes some methods scammers use to make you send them money. By learning how scammers ask you to pay, find out how to spot – and stop – scams.

How to Spot a Fraudulent Investment Scheme

Information pointing out here are some common “red flags” to help you spot fraudulent investment schemes.

Informational Brochures from the PA Attorney General

Informational brochures and publlications available from the PA Attorney General

Make the most of your tax refund (Video)

This video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers two ways you and your family can make the most of your tax refund.

Manufactured Housing and Standards - Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about standards for manufactured housing (mobile home) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Online Reviews and Recommendations

This video from the Federal Trade Commission describes how consumers can evaluate online reviews and recommendations when shopping.

Payday loans explained (Video)

When cash is tight, some people turn to payday and similar loans to make ends meet. For some people payday loans become debt traps and our new rule aims to end the cycle of debt.

Prepaid Card Protections

This video provides information on how new rules makes prepaid accounts safer to use – whether you’re swiping a card at the register, shopping online, or scanning your smartphone.

Puppy Lemon Law

Informational brochure designed to help dog sellers, purchasers, and veterinarians understand the Dog Purchaser Protection Act (Puppy Lemon Law), that establishes the basic standards and resposibilities that each of the parties must meet. [PDF]

Report a Mail Crime

If you have witnessed or fallen victim to a mail-related crime, take action by filing a report of the incident. Find the right form, appropriate for your situation, to file in order to report the criminal conduct.

Rights and Resources for Consumers of All Ages

Reference guide for all consumers regarding how to avoid scams and frauds.

Selecting financial products and services

Different financial products or services can help you meet a specific goal or need. This guide can help you understand different types of products that can meet a specific goal or need and where to get them.

Telemarketing Information You Need to Know

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General offering some information for you about telemarketing calls.

Tips for Paying off Those Holiday Bills

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General offering tips to help you get control of your finances and deal with holiday spending.

Victim Help Resources

Resources from the United States Postal Inspection Service, an agency that is dedicated to treating every crime victim with compassion, fairness, and respect while protecting their dignity and privacy.

Ways to pay your bills

Information on different bill payment options and their potential advantages and disadvantages.

Ways to receive your money

Information on the different ways you can receive your wages including advantages and disadvantages of each.

What are my rights as a consumer when I join a health club?

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General on your rights and responsibilities when joining a health club.

Why Report Fraud? (Video)

This video from the Federal Trade Commission explains what to do if you think you see a scam and how to report it to the Federal Trade Commission to stop the scammers.

Work at Home Schemes

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General about the pitfalls of many offers of big money from working at home.

Your Right to Rescind

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General concerning the circumstances where you have a right to rescind or cancel certain types of contracts.

Brochures for Older Consumers

Listing of information brochures on a number of topics for seniors from the National Consumer Law Center.

Cyber Stalking and Harassment

This resource provides information for victims of cyber/virtual stalking on where to call for support and advice, how to create a personalized safety plan to secure your data, and steps to take to protect yourself from virtual stalking.

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