Consumer Protection

PROTECTING CONSUMER SAFETY—Toys should not be toxic or dangerous for children to play with. Our food should not make us sick. The terms for banking and credit accounts should be clear and easy to understand.

LOOKING OUT FOR CONSUMERS

MASSPIRG’s consumer program works to alert the public to hidden dangers and scams and to ban anti-consumer practices and unsafe products.

TROUBLE IN TOYLAND

For 30 years, MASSPIRG’s "Trouble In Toyland" report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. Our report has led to at least 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years.

Get our tips for avoiding dangerous toys.

BIGGER BANKS, BIGGER FEES

In April, MASSPIRG released a report in which we surveyed more than 350 bank branches and revealed that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. We also found that despite widespread stories about the “death” of free checking, free and low-cost checking choices are still widely available, if consumers shop around.

Find out how to beat high bank fees.

PROTECTING YOUR SECURITY AFTER DATA BREACHES

Data breaches expose victims to serious personal and financial risks. Fortunately, there are steps consumers can take to protect themselves before and minimize the damage done after their personal information has been exposed. 

See all consumer resources.

Issue updates

News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Commends Attorney General for Suing Equifax

Attorney General Maura Healey and her office files the first state or federal enforcement action to hold the wrongdoer Equifax accountable for failing to protect the financial DNA of up to 3 million Massachusetts residents among the reported 143 million consumer victims nationwide.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Time for MA to Pass the Free Credit Freeze Bill | Deirdre Cummings

State legislative committee to hold hearing on free credit freeze bill. Equifax’s massive security breach – affecting 3 million Massachusetts residents and 143 million Americans nationwide – is a timely reminder of the need to allow consumers to lock down or “freeze” their credit reports to prevent ID theft.   

> Keep Reading

Statement on Unilever Starting to Disclose Fragrances via SmartLabel

Statement from MASSPIRG Toxics Advocate Dev Gowda on Unilever Starting to Disclose Fragrances via SmartLabel

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Consumer Tips and FAQ about the Equifax Breach | Mike Litt

Hackers gained access to the personal data of as many as 143 million Americans in the Equifax breach. Here are some recommended actions consumers can take to protect themselves and answers to frequently asked questions.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Equifax Offers Incomplete Protection After Breach

Consumers should know the risks and limits of what Equifax is offering and consider getting credit freezes with all three national credit bureaus instead. 

> Keep Reading

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Commends Attorney General for Suing Equifax

Attorney General Maura Healey and her office files the first state or federal enforcement action to hold the wrongdoer Equifax accountable for failing to protect the financial DNA of up to 3 million Massachusetts residents among the reported 143 million consumer victims nationwide.

> Keep Reading

Statement on Unilever Starting to Disclose Fragrances via SmartLabel

Statement from MASSPIRG Toxics Advocate Dev Gowda on Unilever Starting to Disclose Fragrances via SmartLabel

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Equifax Offers Incomplete Protection After Breach

Consumers should know the risks and limits of what Equifax is offering and consider getting credit freezes with all three national credit bureaus instead. 

> Keep Reading

Texas Chemical Explosions: More Safety Needed Now

Two small explosions last night at a Texas chemical facility highlight that comprehensive emergency regulations need to be enforced more strictly at chemical plants.

> Keep Reading

Statement on P&G’s Consumer Product Fragrance Disclosure Announcement

MASSPIRG applauds consumer product giant Procter & Gamble, the maker of brands like Olay, Old Spice, and Pampers, for its announcement today that it will increase fragrance ingredient transparency in all of its consumer brands.

> Keep Reading

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30 years of toy safety

For the past thirty years, our sister organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund has taken a close look at the safety of toys sold in stores. Their reports have led to more than 150 regulatory actions. In November 2015, they released our 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

> Keep Reading

Keeping Dangerous Toys Off Store Shelves

Toxic chemicals, including lead and hormone-disrupting phthalates, are now banned in toys, thanks to a law we worked alongside our delegation to help pass in Congress. The same law requires regulators to test toys and infant products for safety before they hit store shelves.

> Keep Reading

Locking Out Identity Thieves

In the wake of failures in data security on the part of data dealers and credit card companies, we worked to convince the Legislature to pass one of the nation’s strongest laws to prevent identity theft in 2007.

> Keep Reading

Demanding Action From Big Tobacco

Lives have been saved by the Fire-Safe Cigarette Bill MASSPIRG helped to pass in 2006. The law requires cigarette manufacturers to make cigarettes with paper that burns slower to prevent fires started by cigarettes.

> Keep Reading
Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Protecting the People Who Protect US

How the CFPB protects and serves our military service members and their families.

> Keep Reading

Protecting Those Who Serve

Boston, MA – Debt collection abuses were the leading source (32%) of 44,000 servicemember complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a new report. Further,  Congress is taking up a bill this week  intended to cripple the CFPB and would place servicemembers, veterans and their families in “financial harm’s way,” thereby threatening unit preparedness.

> Keep Reading
Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Medical Debt Malpractice

MASSPIRG, released the ninth in a series of reports that review complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The latest report explores consumer complaints about medical debt, a major source of problems for consumers, since medical debt items on credit reports are often wrong or about the wrong consumer.  The report also demonstrates the need to defend the CFPB from partisan and special interest attacks.

> Keep Reading
Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland

MASSPIRG's 31st Annual Survey Finds Recalled Toys in Online Stores

> Keep Reading
Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Predatory Loans & Predatory Loan Complaints

This is the seventh in a series of reports that review complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In this report, we explore consumer complaints about predatory loans, categorized in the database as payday loans, installment loans, and auto title loans.

> Keep Reading

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Time for MA to Pass the Free Credit Freeze Bill | Deirdre Cummings

State legislative committee to hold hearing on free credit freeze bill. Equifax’s massive security breach – affecting 3 million Massachusetts residents and 143 million Americans nationwide – is a timely reminder of the need to allow consumers to lock down or “freeze” their credit reports to prevent ID theft.   

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Consumer Tips and FAQ about the Equifax Breach | Mike Litt

Hackers gained access to the personal data of as many as 143 million Americans in the Equifax breach. Here are some recommended actions consumers can take to protect themselves and answers to frequently asked questions.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Establishing a Student Loan Bill of Rights | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG's Sam Gibb, called on lawmakers to support  Senate Bill 129, An Act Establishing a Student Loan Bill of Rights, filed by Senator Eric Lesser to protect student loan borrowers from unfair, predatory and deceptive practices of student lending and loan servicing companies.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Verizon Security Breach: Steps to Take to Protect Yourself | Jeanne Foy

A security lapse at Verizon has exposed data from millions of Verizon customers - leaking names, addresses and personal identification numbers (PINs). Steps to protect your identity and account information.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

TIPS TO STAY SECURE ONLINE | Jeanne Foy

Staying vigilant online in the face of growing cyberattacks.  

> Keep Reading

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