From government agencies
to nonprofit watchdog groups to all access bulletin
boards, consumer opinion and consumer information
on the Internet is plentiful.
The Ocean County Library
subscribes to the NADA Guides to used vehicles,
Consumer Reports, and Edmund’s new and used cars.
Complementing these print resources, the Web has
numerous sites to turn to for information.
Library’s subscription to Ebscohost includes
access to the following consumer-related
Ebscohost Master File Premier provides
full text access to articles in magazines
like Consumer Reports, and Consumers’
This site’s goal is to serve as a directory
of all of the federal government’s
resources for consumer information online. Topics
are broken down into general areas such as product
safety, health, and food, making it easier to find
the relevant information without wading through
agency Web page after agency Web page. The Consumer’s
Federal Blue Pages Directory, and Older
People’s Resource Directory
are available via the Directory Assistance link
on the left-hand side of the home page. For
a list of every participating Federal agency, plus
a link to their Web page, follow their About
Federal Citizen Information Center
Pueblo, Colorado 81009 is one of the best known
addresses in the country. Home to the Consumer Information
Center, Pueblo is a one-stop shopping center for
federal consumer publications. At this site, you
can find the current Catalog
and publications, along with a library of Consumer
Check out the latest edition of the Consumer’s
for plenty of consumer tips and advice. A handy
feature is Media
a listing of consumer information books mentioned
in the media. There are also thousands of names,
addresses, telephone numbers and electronic addresses
of corporations, trade groups, state and local consumer
protection offices and federal agencies.
Consumer Action Website
Have a consumer question or problem? You’ve come to the right place for help. All of the information available in the Consumer Action Handbook is available here
Product Safety Commission
An independent federal regulatory agency created
by Congress in 1972, the CPSC strives to protect
the public from "unreasonable risks of injuries
and deaths associated with consumer products."
be found here: browse the monthly report of product
recalls or search recalls by product type, or company.
The consumer may also report an unsafe product to
the CPSC via this site. Links to CPSC regulatory
information from the CFR are included, as well as
information for business owners. They regulate over
15,000 types of consumer products. However, items
such as "cars, trucks and motorcycles are covered
by the Department of Transportation; foods, drugs
and cosmetics are covered by the Food and Drug Administration;
and alcohol, tobacco and firearms are within the
jurisdiction of the Department of the Treasury."
The site also includes a list of products
the CPSC doesn’t regulate,
and the federal agencies that do.
OnGuardOnline.gov provides 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
Identify Protection and Theft
One of the most scary and time consuming activities is protecting and trying to restore your good name and credit scores.
Consumer Insights: Identity Theft
The Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs has published this helpful brochure providing information on the prevention of id theft and what to do if it happens to you.
NJ Department of Consumer Affairs: Identity Theft
New Jersey passed the Identity Theft Prevention Act on January 1, 2006. Use this site to learn how to place a security freeze on your credit report in addition to many other helpful suggestions. A toll-free number to the NJ DoCA is also included.
Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Site
This government website is a one-stop resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.
Prevent identity theft from phishing scams
Microsoft has provided an easy to understand explanation. Scam artists try to get you to disclose valuable personal data—like credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information—by convincing you to provide it under false pretenses. “Phishing schemes can be carried out in person or over the phone, and are delivered online through spam e-mail or pop-up windows.”
Department of Consumer Affairs
This agency oversees the Office
of Consumer Protection,
and occupational licensing boards,
and the Bureau
to name a few. Follow the link to Consumer
for "Consumer Briefs", descriptions of
programs available to consumers in New Jersey who
feel that they were victims of fraud or unfair business
practices, and for consumers wishing to educate
themselves before choosing a product or service.
Most helpful are the database searches:
List of Medical and Mental Health Related Professional
Jersey Charitable Registration Directory
Examiners Licensee Directory
Professional and Occupational Licensing Boards
Plumber Licensee Directory
Science Licensee Directory
For consumers wishing to investigate a company
before hiring them or purchasing a product, the
BBB is the place to start. Consumers can get a company
reliability report , find out how long the business
has existed, whether any complaints have been made
against the company, and whether or not the company
is a member of the BBB. Plus they offer mediation
services for when you are having a dispute with
a company. You will need to contact the local branch
of the BBB in which the company is located in order
to request a report. Find a local BBB anywhere in
the Nation by zip code or State, or go directly
to a New Jersey BBB Web page:
The Better Business Bureau of New Jersey, Inc.
forget to check out the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance ,
and the New
Jersey Charitable Registration Directory
for a listing of New Jersey charities registered
with the Department of Consumer Affairs!
Guidestar is an independent, non-profit organization
devoted to providing information on over 620,000
charities. Information from tax returns (990 or
990 EZ) filed with the IRS by the charity, a listing
of how much money is raised each year, what the
money is spent on, including paid workers, and additional
information such as program descriptions and contacts
are included. Charities that do not have to file
with the IRS, may fill out a Guidestar Basic Financial
A public service, non-commercial site which
has gathered over 1700 of the most useful consumer
resources on the Internet, and categorized them
here for easy access. Try this database when you
are unsure of which Web site to turn to first with
your consumer concern.
Find a host of reviews written by consumers
on a multitude of products and services. All reviews
are posted, unedited, and the reader has the option
of voting on the review itself and how "trustworthy"
they found it to be.
National Do-Not-Call Registry
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home
Use this Opt out site or call 1-888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) to stop receiving preapproved credit offers.
Junk Mail Opt-Out by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association)
The DMA maintains a database of consumers who want to curtail unsolicited mail. The catch is that only DMA members must abide by the pledge to take your name off their lists. An annoying aspect is that you can opt out by mail for free, but opting out online will cost you.
GasBuddy.com provides you with the tools you need to find the lowest gas prices in Ocean County. Note: Make sure you look at the time the price was last reported for each gas station!
AAA Fuel Cost Calculator
AAA Fuel Cost Calculator is intended to help you determine the cost of fuel needed to complete a vacation drive. It creates the calculation using year, make and model of your car.
Safety & Information
The gateway site for information
and federal regulations concerning nutrition guidelines,
dietary supplements, and food safety. The resources
included concern health statistics, tips for eating
healthy, and press releases and publications from
Analysis Tool 2.0
does more than tell you how many calories are in
the fast food lunch you ate this afternoon. The
results are displayed along side your daily recommended
amounts, depending on your gender, age, and if you
are female, if you are pregnant.
Trying to compare ten-ten phone rates? This
site lets you compare rates whether you are calling
from within the state, out of state, or out of the
Consumer Information Bureau
The consumer information page for the FCC is
incredibly helpful. Consumers with questions or
complaints concerning their cable or telephone company,
or who believe that they are victims of cramming
or slamming would do well to stop by this site.
CardWeb.com, Inc.® is a leading online publisher of information pertaining to all types of payment cards, including, but not limited to, credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, prepaid cards, ATM cards, loyalty cards and phone cards. The firm uniquely serves all constituencies connected to the payment card business: consumers, institutions, merchants, acquirers, processors, manufacturers, consultants, news reporters and many others. The company is renowned for its independence, credibility and fairness.
Online Resource Center
The IORC is funded by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The website was developed to:
- Set out the key facts about online investing.
- Make available rankings and other information needed for informed decision making by consumers.
- Outline the rights of online investors and dispute resolution alternatives.
An independent shopping resource which evaluates
online stores for safety, efficiency and quality.
of retail Web sites in real time to find current
This informational site created and maintained
by the American Bar Association is a must read for
all who shop online. The goal of this site is to
inform consumers about online issues including privacy,
company reliability, and security.
questions? We have answers!
and Compiled by K. Sparks