Consumer Protection

Business Opportunities

Want to " be your own boss," "work from home," or just "make extra money"? Then you may be tempted by an ad for a business opportunity. Before you open your checkbook, check out the offer. Fraudulent business opportunity promoters use the classifieds and the Internet to tout all kinds of offers, from pay phone and vending machine routes to work-at-home businesses like medical billing and envelope stuffing. Too often, these ads make promises - about earnings, locations, merchandise, or marketability — that sound great, but aren't truthful. The result: consumers are getting ripped off, losing money instead of making it. Learn more about considering a business oportunity.

Children's Online Privacy Protection

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), passed by Congress in October 1998, requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue and enforce rules concerning children's online privacy. The FTC issued the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule in November 1999; it has been in effect since April 21, 2000. The Rule's primary goal: to place parents in control over what information is collected from their children online. Learn more about the Chlidren's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Computers and Technology (On Guard)

Practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information. Learn more about protecting yourself against Internet fraud.

Credit and Insurance — Prescreened

Many companies that solicit new credit card accounts and insurance policies use prescreening to identify potential customers for the products they offer. Learn more about the FTC's prescreened offers of credit and insurance.

Credit and Loans

Almost every day, you are involved in some type of financial transaction requiring an educated decision — Whether you are shopping for a mortgage or auto loan, checking the accuracy of your credit report, dealing with debt collectors, or looking for ways to protect your personal financial information. Learn more about credit and loan information.

Cross-Border Fraud

Cross-border fraud is a serious problem — and it appears to be growing. For example, consumers in the U.S. and other countries lose billions of dollars each year to telemarketers operating from "boiler rooms" across the border who pitch bogus products, services and investments. They also lose money to Internet scam artists who operate anonymously from places outside the U.S. The most common cross-border frauds pushed by telemarketers, spam emailers or misleading advertisements involve phony prize promotions, foreign lottery schemes, advance-fee loan rip-offs, travel offer scams, and unnecessary credit card loss "protection." Learn more about cross border fraud.

"Do Not Call" Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Learn more about the National Do Not Call Registry from the Federal Trade Commission.

Funerals

When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral — all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? Should you bury or cremate the body, or donate it to science? What are you legally required to buy? What other arrangements should you plan? And, as callous as it may sound, how much is it all going to cost? Learn more about consumer rights under the funeral rule.

Gas Saving Tips

Important information that can save you money: gas tank, driver's seat; steering wheel, under the hood, tires, and trunk. Learn more about these money-savings tips.

Contact Paul

Enter your zip code below to send Congressman Tonko an email.

Washington D.C. Office

2463 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone:
(202) 225-5076
Fax:
(202) 225-5077

Albany Office

19 Dove Street, Suite 302
Albany, NY 12210
Phone:
(518) 465-0700
Fax:
(518) 427-5107

Schenectady Office

105 Jay Street, Room 15
Schenectady, NY 12305
Phone:
(518) 374-4547
Fax:
(518) 374-7908

Amsterdam Office

61 Church Street, Room 309
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone:
(518) 843-3400
Fax:
(518) 843-8874