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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS CELEBRATES NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK

Provides resources to help consumers avoid being "burned" by unlicensed activity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2012
CONTACT:
Russ Heimerich (916) 574-8170

SACRAMENTO – Today marks the kickoff of National Consumer Protection week. The California Department of Consumer Affairs is joining federal and local government agencies as well as local, state and national non-profits to help protect consumers through a series of outreach efforts and community events.

This year, the Department's message to consumers, "Don't Get Burned" urges everyone to hire only licensed professionals.

"Hiring licensed professionals for things like home remodeling, auto repair, and even a haircut is the best way to avoid problems, " said Department of Consumer Affairs Director Denise Brown. "Licensed professionals meet a standard of competency; therefore the individuals are monitored while doing business, and when there are problems, the Department can intervene and take action."

As part of National Consumer Protection Week, the Department of Consumer Affairs will be kicking off a monthly discussion at the Sacramento Main Library in downtown Sacramento on Tuesday March 6. The monthly talks are aimed at providing audiences with a wide array of information about various consumer issues. The first discussion will involve the Department of Consumer Affairs, its Contractors State License Board, and the U.S. Postal Service.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has also posted helpful information for consumers on its Take Charge, California! Website. In addition, the Department reminds consumers how easy it is to check the license of cosmetologists, architects, pharmacists, security guards and more using the Department's license database online license verification page.

"An informed consumer is an empowered consumer," said Director Brown. "And, an empowered consumer can protect his or her hard-earned dollars and help strengthen California's economy."
Consumers needing assistance with any consumer issue can visit the Department of Consumer Affairs website or call the Consumer Information Center at 1-800-952-5210.

"Our goal is to help consumers, even if we're not the right department to help them resolve their issues we'll make sure to point them in the direction of someone who can." said Director Brown.

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The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is protects and serves California consumers while ensuring a competent and fair marketplace. DCA helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. The Department also protects professionals from unfair competition by unlicensed practitioners. The Department issues licenses in more than 100 business and 200 professional categories, including doctors, dentists, contractors, cosmetologists and automotive repair facilities. DCA's operations are funded exclusively by license fees.

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. NCPW 2012 will take place March 4 through 10, 2012. NCPW.gov offers consumers a wealth of tips and information from federal and state government and non-profit partner organizations.