Contact: Christopher Curtis, Chief, Public Protection, 802-828-3171
Attorney General T.J. Donovan and Treasurer Beth Pearce met with community members at the Pope Memorial Library in Danville to discuss the importance of managing credit and protecting yourself from financial scams. They highlighted that as financial products become more complex and data breaches affecting consumers become more frequent, it is more important than ever that Vermonters manage their credit and regularly check their credit reports. In 2018, Vermonters filed 5,471 scam reports with the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program – making scams one of the most common consumer issues affecting Vermonters.
“Scams are on the rise nationwide,” said Attorney General Donovan, noting that in 2018, the Federal Trade Commission received 1.4 million fraud reports nationwide, with financial loss reported in 25 percent. “But, knowledge is power. By periodically checking your credit report and issuing fraud alerts or credit freezes when you suspect scam activity, you can better protect yourself and your money.”
Attorney General Donovan and Treasurer Pearce reminded Vermonters that how you manage your personal credit impacts more than just your monthly budget. A person’s credit score impacts their ability achieve goals like purchasing a vehicle, buying a home, or securing financing to start a business. Vermonters should exercise discipline as they manage credit, and frequently check their credit scores. Failure to do so can lead to expensive traps, like costly loans, heavy debt burdens, and identity theft.
“We want all Vermonters to achieve a lifetime of financial well-being,” said Treasurer Pearce. “Checking your credit score is an important first step. We encourage all Vermonters to regularly review their credit reports for unfamiliar activity. You should contact the credit reporting agency directly to dispute inaccurate items and place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit reports.”
Free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are available to Vermonters at www.annualcreditreport.com. More information about fraud alerts and credit freezes can be found at the Federal Trade Commission.
Vermonters who would like to report scam activity or sign up for Scam Alerts may contact the Attorney General’s Office through the Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424 or at https://ago.vermont.gov/cap/stopping-scams/.
Last modified: October 18, 2019