SCC Highlights National Consumer Protection Week

Financial

FEB 26, 2021

RICHMOND – Few observances align as closely to the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) mission as National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), an occasion which aims to help people understand their consumer rights and make smart choices with their finances. NCPW, held from February 28 to March 6 this year, combines the efforts of the Federal Trade Commission and other federal, state, and local agencies and organizations – including the SCC – to promote making well-informed consumer decisions.

The SCC reminds Virginians that it stands ready year-round to answer inquiries, handle complaints, and provide information and assistance regarding industry sectors over which it has regulatory responsibility. Those sectors include insurance companies and agents, state-chartered financial institutions, investment firms and their representatives, retail franchises and investor-owned utilities providing electric, natural gas, water, and sewer, along with non-cellular and non-internet telecommunications services.

The SCC also offers many consumer guides and financial information resources on topics like mortgage loans and deposit account information, purchasing insurance, and more. Its specially trained staff can assist Virginians in making informed choices and, if necessary, submitting a complaint against regulated entities for things like an insurance company improperly denying a claim, a loan transaction or securities offering coming with an errant charge, or a utility company billing incorrectly.

The SCC encourages consumers to shop around and compare prices and terms; thoroughly evaluate any offer; keep written records of all transactions; find products and services that suit your particular needs; review statements and bills regularly; learn to spot scams, and verify that an individual or company is properly licensed or registered.

If a problem arises, the SCC urges consumers to try to resolve it with the regulated individual or company first. Consumers can contact the appropriate SCC division by phone, mail or email (using the online complaint) form if they still are not satisfied. Information about the complaint process along with related forms are available from the Consumers section of the SCC website at scc.virginia.gov. To contact the SCC by phone, call toll-free (in Virginia) at 1-800-552-7945 or in Richmond, call:

  • Bureau of Insurance – 804-371-9741
  • Bureau of Financial Institutions – 804-371-9657
  • Division of Securities and Retail Franchising – 804-371-9051
  • Division of Public Utility Regulation – 804-371-9611
  • Office of the Clerk – 804-371-9733
  • Division of Information Resources – 804-371-9141

In the event the SCC does not have regulatory authority over a particular firm, individual, product or transaction, its staff will assist consumers by referring them to the appropriate local, state or federal authority for assistance. These may include the Attorney General’s Office, local consumer protection office, law enforcement agencies, Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission’s toll-free helpline at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

To learn more about National Consumer Protection Week, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/.

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Contact: Ford Carson, 804-371-9141