Consumer Assistance Program : University of Vermont
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Consumer Hotline:  Toll Free In VT (800)649-2424 or (802) 656-3183

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Debit Card Text Message Scam
Do not respond to calls or texts about a debit card problem!  Our office has received a number of reports of fraudulent texts, claiming the consumer's debit card number has been "locked" and that the consumer should call a number back for assistance.  See the Consumer Advisory on the scam.

Clearing up Misconceptions about the National Do Not Call Registry
The National Do Not Call Registry is free.  You already can sign up your cell phone.  You aren't solicited to sign up.  If you do sign up, you are asked to provide very little information (your phone number and an email if signing up online).  So, if you receive any information to the contrary, steer clear! Find out more at usa.gov and ftc.gov.




Scam Callers May:

  • Use high pressure sales tactics
  • Require immediate payment
  • Request your personal information
  • Refuse to provide contact information
  • Request that you keep the call private
  • Refuse to mail you any documentation
  • Repeatedly call after you've asked them to stop
  • Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

Register Your Number and Report Violations

Federal Trade Commission Image
 The Federal Trade Commission manages the National Do Not Call Registry, which protects consumers from receiving unwanted telemarketing calls from legitimate marketers.  It is free to register a number and registrations do not expire.  Consumers can register online at: www.donotcall.gov, or call toll-free: 888-382-1222 (TTY 866-290-4236), from the number they wish to register.


Vermont State Seal

Too Much Junk Mail?
5 WAYS TO STOP IT

  1. DIRECT MAIL:  Notify the following associations that you do not want your name distributed on their lists.   

    Direct Marketing Association:  It is free if you notify them through an online form:  www.dmachoice.com.   The DMA will charge a $1 fee if you send your request by mail to the following address:   DMA Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 642, Carmel, NY  10512.  

    Metromail Corporation, List Maintenance, 901 West Bond, Lincoln, Nebraska  68521

    R.L. Polk & Co./Name Deletion File, List Compilation Development, 26955 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, Michigan  48034-4716

    Database America, Compilation Department, 470 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff, New Jersey  07677  

    Acxiom U.S.:   Call 877-774-2094 to request on opt-out form or complete the request at its website http://acxiom.com.    

  2. CREDIT CARD OFFERS:  To stop receipt of credit card offers, contact the following credit reporting agencies through a central telephone number or email.  You may opt out for 5 years or permanently.    You will be asked to provide some personal information, including your name, home phone, SSN, and date of birth.   The information will remain confidential.  
                                                    
                    Equifax/TransUnion/Novus/Experian : 
                    1-888-567-8688  (or 1-888-5-OPT-OUT) or
                    visit www.optoutprescreen.com.   

                    Or write to the companies separately:  
                    Experian, Opt Out, P.O. Box 919, Allen, TX  75013
                    TransUnion, Name Removal Option, P.O. Box 505, Woodlyn, PA  19094
                    Equifax, Inc., Options, P.O. Box 740123, Atlanta, GA  30374
                    Innovis Consumer Assistance, P.O. Box 495, Pittsburgh, PA  15230.   

  3. SWEEPSTAKES:  It is impossible to stop all lottery and sweepstakes scam mail, but you can write to the following two sweepstakes businesses and stop receipt of their advertising.  

    Publishers Clearinghouse:   1-800-645-9242 or write to: Consumer & Privacy Affairs, Publishers Clearinghouse, 382 Channel Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050  or email:  privacychoices@pchmailcom

    Readers Digest Sweepstakes:   1-800-310-6261 (1-800-735-4327 for hearing impaired) or write to:  Reader’s Digest, P.O. Box 50005, Prescott, Arizona   86301-5005 

  4. CATALOGS:   Remove your name from catalog and other lists at www.catalogchoice.org.  You can also call the number on the catalog you have received or write a letter.   If you send a letter, peel off/cut off the address label that they sent to you and attach to your letter.   

  5. FLYERS/COUPONS:  Don’t want to receive “value packs” or coupon offers?   Contract the following companies:  

                    Advo/Vallassis:  1-888-2241-6760 or write:  Vallassis Direct Mail, Inc., Consumer Assistance, P.O. Box 249, Windsor, VT  06095; or www.advo.com/consumersupport

                    Harte Hanks Direct Marketing:  1-800-422-4116; or write: Attn:  Consumer Preferences, c/o Pennysaver, 2830 Orbiter Street, Brea, CA 92821; or www.pennysaverusa.com/contactus.  

Note: Just writing “Return to Sender” doesn’t stop junk mail delivery  --- it doesn’t take you off any distribution lists and just makes work for your postal service worker. 

More Information to Know:
  • According to the AARP, roughly 1/3 of scam victims are 65 or older.

  • The US Postal Service reports that 60% of consumers 60 and older are victims of prize or sweepstakes scams.

  • Any lottery or sweepstakes that requires an upfront fee is a scam and no legitimate contest or award issues partial payment checks and asks for a portion back. 

  • Discuss scams with friends and loved ones before they become victims.  Explain that any request for money to get "free money" is a scam, even if they receive a check to cover a portion of the funds (the check is fake).  Establish a reaction protocol when confronted with scams.
  • Encourage victims to report scams.  They will be doing something to protect others.

Vermont consumers can contact the Consumer Assistance Program with any questions, concerns or requests for more information toll free in Vermont at (800) 649-2424 or at (802) 656-3183, or visit our website at www.uvm.edu/consumer.

What is CAP?

The Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) helps Vermonters solve disputes with businesses, protect themselves from fraud and access available services. In partnership with UVM, CAP operates a consumer hotline, mediates consumer disputes with businesses, tracks fraud and scam complaints and recovers thousands of dollars yearly for consumers.  

CAP accepts complaints in writing via our on-line form, e-mail, fax or mail.  Please note that any information you submit to our office is public record and will be FORWARDED TO THE BUSINESS named in your complaint.  When writing to us, please be sure to provide us with a brief summary of your complaint, your mailing address and daytime telephone number, and the address and phone number for the business named in your complaint.  If you send us any documents, please send us copies only, as we may not be able to return documents submitted to our office.

I received a phone call....

Receive a phone call that concerns you? Click here to find out more about collection calls, telemarketing calls, charitable solicitations and telephone scams.  

I got a letter in the mail....

Unexpected check in the mail?  Want to stop collection notices?  Click here to find out more about solicitations, scams and other problems in the mail.

I'm having trouble with a business....

Trouble with a product or service? Paid someone to work on your home and now they won't show up?  Click here to find out more about your rights as a Vermont consumer.

  • Consumer Assistance Program, 146 University Place, Burlington, VT 05405
  • Email: consumer@uvm.edu
  • Toll Free in Vermont: (800)649-2424
  • Outside of Vermont: (802)656-3183
  • FAX: (802)656-1423

Last modified March 26 2014 05:22 PM

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