Better Business Bureau joins government partners for Consumer Protection event

CHICAGO, IL – The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) will be featured at the 15th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 7th, 2013, from 8:30AM to 3:00PM, in the lobby of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. The BBB joins federal, state, and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations at this event. Consumer protection information and brochures will be among the free items available.


National Consumer Protection Week focuses on giving consumers the tools they need to make smart financial decisions in today’s marketplace. This information can help people get the most for their money, whether they are trying to stretch their paychecks, find a quick fix for a spotty credit history, or distinguish the difference between a real deal and a potentially fraudulent product or service. 


“The Better Business Bureau is proud to be part of this year’s National Consumer Protection Week campaign,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Especially in times like this, information is power and the ability to obtain third party reviews helps consumers to make informed choices. We invite everyone to visit for tools such as online business reviews and Request a Quote; these free tools can be used to make smart choices in the marketplace.”


The BBB offers the following tips on making smart financial decisions:  

  1. Check Them Out. Check out a business before you spend money on any product or service. Visit to view the BBB’s free Business Review on the company
  2. Three Bid Rule. Obtain bids from three companies and carefully compare before you begin construction or any other type of work on your home or business. Check out the BBB’s Request a Quote to obtain free estimates.
  3. Signing Contracts. Never sign any contract that has blank spots or contains incomplete information about the work to be accomplished.
  4. Beware of Requirements of money for instructions. Jobs that require you to make some type of payment upfront before work begins are typically scams. 
  5. Shred It. Protect yourself against identity theft.  Shred all documents that contain any financial information. Including offers for new credit cards and loans.

The “For Consumers” section of the BBB website ( provides consumers hundreds of specific, easy-to-understand tips including: how to get a free credit report, how to spot a telemarketing scam, dealing with debt, deterring and detecting identity theft, avoiding auto repair scams, and how to file a consumer complaint with the appropriate authorities. 


For more information on consumer safe shopping or National Consumer Protection Week, visit