Consumer Protection Week National Consumer Protection Week is a good time to make sure you are taking steps to avoid being the victim of frauds, scams, and unethical businesses practices. Here’s a refresher on some basic rules that can help protect all consumers: Never pay up front fees to win a prize or sweepstakes or get a loan. Upfront fees are against the law in North Carolina. Never share personal or financial information unless you know who you are speaking with, and why they need that information. Don’t feel pressured if you receive threats of fines or arrest. No law enforcement or government agency, such as the IRS, will call and threaten arrest because they claim you owe money or have broken a law. Monitor your credit regularly. You can get a free annual credit report from each of three credit bureaus and a free security freeze on your credit report at ncdoj.gov/securityfreeze. Prepaid debit and gift cards can be a red flag. If you’re asked to buy prepaid gift or online cards to pay for anything, it’s probably a scam. Don’t make the purchase. Be cautious when responding to telemarketers, door-to-door sellers, and email or text pitches. Instead of responding to unsolicited offers, decide when and where you want to go shopping. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes. Beware of offers that sound too good to be true, or promise huge rewards with little or no risk. If you are contacted by a scammer, you can report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online. Get tips on how to spot and avoid scams at ncdoj.gov. This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.