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The Pure Vermont Newsletter
     By the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program                                      APRIL 2013

Be Consumer Smart This Spring 

As we break free from winter, home improvement projects get underway and people start searching classified ads/online listings for varying items; like a new puppy or even a car.  With this spike in activity comes greater consumer risk.  Here, we have identified some key areas to take added caution.

Home Improvement Projects

Before putting the money down to improve your home, spend a little time researching to ensure that you don't become a victim of home improvement fraud, pay a lot of money, and get nothing in return.   

Check the Home Improvement Fraud Registry.

Check complaint history at CAP, the BBB, and in neighboring states.

Ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations.

    Home Improvement image

Ask the contractor for references and call all of them, asking detailed questions about the work done, satisfaction, price, time it took to complete, how they found the contractor etc...

Pay in increments rather than a large sum or full payment up front.

Be wary of door-to-door solicitors.

Ask thorough questions throughout the process.

      Get agreements in writing!

Buying/Selling Online or in Local  Classifieds

  • Deal locally and meet in a safe location in person.
  • Never wire transfer funds or share a prepaid card's activation code.
  • Don't click on links from unknown senders.
  • Never give out your financial information.
  • FREE ads should be free.  If you are suddenly required to pay a fee for an unanticipated circumstance, ignore the ad.
   Mowing grass

Read as text...

Protect Your Move

With the excitement and anticipation of a move, people seldom question the validity of their moving company and usually do not know their rights during a move. Whether moving within VT, out of state, or to our beautiful state, check the legitimacy of a mover before you agree to hire them for the job of transporting your possessions.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends taking the following precautions:

1)  Check that the mover/broker is registered with the FMCSA.

2)  Check the complaint record of a mover/broker at protectyourmove.gov, bbb.org, and the state where the company is located.

3)  Avoid movers/brokers that do not show their U.S. DOT number (required by FMCSA).

4)  Get a written estimate.  Movers must supply a written estimate and if Brokers supply estimates, they must also be written.

5)  Thoroughly understand the type of liability you sign for and if it will cover the cost of all your goods if something unexpected happens.

6)  Do not sign blank or incomplete documents.

7)  Supervise the loading and unloading of your household goods.

Continue reading...


Businesses:  

Gift Card Market

Purchasing Labor Posters

     MORE BUSINESSES >>




Consumers:  

Spot Moving Fraud

smishing is phishing

      More consumers >>



Pure Vermont RecogniTion

The tech support scam, just introduced to us late last year, has maintained a rather steady presence in Vermont.  Vermonters, Leon and Roberta Jaworski contacted CAP to warn of the problem. As computer savvy citizens, they identified the scam as soon as they picked up the phone and heard the supposed company claiming to be "Microsoft" warning of malware on their computer.  Continue Reading...

Find out more about Pure Vermont Now!

Pure Vermont is about bringing consumer awareness to every door step while celebrating the wholesome values that Vermonters are known for, such as helping our neighbors, caring for our community, and promoting fair dealing in the marketplace.  The most important component of the Pure Vermont initiative is you.

Nominate someone for the Pure Vermont Award Now! 



MARCH
COMPLAINT TRENDS

 271 New Complaints

TOP COMPLAINT ISSUES
Scams - Unsolicited

Automobiles -
Defective Merchandise

Banking/Credit -
Collection Harassment

Retail - Unsatisfactory Service

SENIORS REPORT
TOP COMPLAINTS
Scams - Unsolicited

Retail - Sales

Home Furnishings -
Failure to Deliver

Health/Medical - 
Unauthorized Billing

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