On Your Side: Consumer Protection Week

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February 8, 2007

If you don't know how to protect yourself as a consumer, now is a good time to learn. This is National Consumer Protection Week. It's all about being an educated consumer, asking questions and reading the fine print.

Here are a few tips to help you.

Shred your old bank statements, pre-approved credit card offers and credit card receipts.

When you're buying a car, make sure you test-drive it and take it to a qualified mechanic. You may also want to run a vehicle history report on it.

If you're trying to improve your credit, remember that no one can remove correct information from your credit report, even if it negatively affects you.

And there is no magic wand to fixing your credit. Seek out a qualified credit counseling service.

Be careful of phony bills. There are people who send out fake bills in the hopes that you will just absently-mindedly pay them. Keep good records of who you are paying each month and what you are paying. That will keep you from sending out money to someone who doesn't deserve it.

Those are just a few tips to protect yourself, but there are many more. Click here for more information.

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