The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) encourages all Californians to observe National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) from March 6 through 12. In recognition, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has issued a proclamation that stresses the importance of giving consumers the knowledge and skills they need to make safe and successful financial choices. You can lean learn more about National Consumer Protection Week, and find educational materials, at the national NCPW website. The national coalition includes public and private sector partners in states across the U.S.
DBO has a year-round commitment to consumer protection, financial literacy and investor education. Links to DBO publications may be found at the DBO Consumer Education and Outreach page.
The DBO has issued consumer advisories on a variety of financial services topics. Some examples:
Investment Broker-Dealer Fees
- DBO is an active member of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). NASAA research shows investors often are confused about the fees securities brokers charge for services and maintenance of customers’ accounts. The research also shows investors want clear and easy access to fee information from their brokerages. Learn more with Understanding Broker-Dealer Fees consumer advisory.
‘Asset Recovery’ Scams
- “Asset recovery” companies contact consumers, tell them they’ve been victimized by investment fraud and promise to recover their money – for a payment of thousands of dollars up-front. In reality, the services they provide often don’t go much beyond what consumers can do themselves for free. Learn more with DBO’s Asset Recovery consumer advisory.
Auto Title Loans – Be Careful
- The DBO urges consumers to exercise caution before borrowing money through an automobile title loan. These loans require you to put up ownership of your car as collateral. If you miss payments or default on the auto title loan, the lender can take your vehicle. Learn more with DBO’s Automobile Title Loan consumer advisory.
Mortgage Modification Fraud
- Financially stressed homeowners often are targeted by fraudsters through mortgage modification scams. Using abusive practices, such as collecting illegal advance fees, con artists have damaged the financial security of many Californians. Learn more with DBO’s Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud Alert consumer advisory.
Payday Loans – What Consumers Need to Know
- When consumers do business with unlicensed payday lenders, whether operating online or in storefronts, they’re less likely to benefit from the protections provided borrowers by state law. Those protections include limits on the dollar amount of payday loans and the fees consumers can be charged. Learn more with DBO’s CDDTL consumer advisory.
Marijuana Investments and Digital Currency
- At first glance, marijuana, binary options, and digital currency appear to have no real connection to one another. But what they all have in common is their recent emergence as three investments that both sellers and buyers hope will become the “next big thing.” Before you consider investing, make sure you understand what these products are, their benefits, and their risks. Learn more with DBO’s Marijuana-Related investments, Binary Options and Digital Currency Consumer Advisory.
DBO provides consumers information and resources on a variety of financial services, including personal loans, mortgages and investments. The goal of the DBO’s education and outreach efforts is to provide consumers tools they need to make smart financial decisions and operate safely in the marketplace.