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Department of Consumer Affairs
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January-June 2013
July-December 2012
January-June 2012
July-December 2011   
January-June 2011  
July-December 2010   
January-June 2010     
December 2009

2011 Protect Your Money Campaign Alerts New Yorkers to Predatory Services and Scams and Promotes the City’s Safe, Free Help

2011 Protect Your Money Campaign Alerts New Yorkers to Predatory Services and Scams and Promotes the City’s Safe, Free Help
On display Citywide in subway cars and newspapers, Protect Your Money ads highlight the successes of real New Yorkers who got help from the City to deal with:
  • a debt settlement scam
  • a home improvement contractor who refused to finish the job
  • opening a bank account to avoid check casher fees
  • avoiding foreclosure
Launched in 2010, the Protect Your Money campaign encourages New Yorkers to take advantage of City services to take control of their own financial future.

Read the press release and get consumer protection tips
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site to view the ads and learn about City services

DCA Announces Results of Immigration Service Provider Enforcement

DCA Announces Results of Immigration Service Provider Enforcement
City joins nationwide initiative to combat immigrant service scams
As part of the Administration’s efforts to protect the City’s immigrant population, DCA conducted more than 280 inspections of immigration service providers over two years issuing 134 violations. Top violations include:
  • failing to provide a contract or providing contracts without all required information
  • failing to post required disclosures
  • failing to maintain the required surety bond
In addition to vigorously enforcing local law, DCA partners with government and community organizations to educate both those seeking immigration assistance and those offering it.

Read the press release
Download DCA's consumer guide
File a complaint against an immigration service provider
Are you an immigration service provider? Get quick tips and resources

PROTECT your identity

PROTECT your identity
On May 22, the City held its 4th Annual Shred Fest, a free paper-shredding event. Shredding is one important way to protect your identity.
View photos from Shred Fest
Get identity theft prevention tips for consumers and businesses

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Recognize City’s Financial Empowerment Centers and Honor 10,000th Client

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Recognize City’s Financial Empowerment Centers and Honor 10,000th Client
At a ceremony at Gracie Mansion, the City celebrated accomplishments of the Financial Empowerment Centers, including: 18,763 counseling sessions conducted; 10,000 clients served; $4.2 million of debt reduced; $367,000 in savings realized. Free, professional, one-on-one, multilingual financial counseling is available to all New Yorkers at more than 20 Centers Citywide.
Read the press release
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you
View a list of our generous Financial Empowerment Center supporters

DCA Holds Open House for Stoop Line Stand Licensees on April 28

DCA Holds Open House for Stoop Line Stand Licensees on April 28
About 50 business owners, including a representative from the Bodega Association of the United States, attended DCA's second Open House. Staff discussed rules and regulations governing the industry and fielded questions. DCA's Open House series aims to educate licensees about the Department's business-friendly services, and help them do right by their customers.
Visit DCA's Business Toolbox for important information and resources
Visit DCA's Event Calendar

Mayor Bloomberg Launches One NYC One Nation

Mayor Bloomberg Launches One NYC One Nation
Financial Literacy among goals of Immigrant Civic Engagement Zones
One NYC One Nation is a citywide civic engagement initiative for immigrant New Yorkers. Led by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and sponsored by grants from One Nation Foundation and The New York Community Trust, boroughwide zones will create activities aimed at increasing immigrant communities’ economic empowerment, access to City government, and civic participation. Among its goals, selected community and immigrant leaders will receive training on how to help their communities learn to navigate the financial system.
Read the press release

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Announce Results of Citywide Crackdown on Tax Preparers

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Announce Results of Citywide Crackdown on Tax Preparers
New Yorkers Urged to Avoid High-Interest Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs)
During its annual sweep to protect filers, DCA conducted more than 1,200 inspections, issuing over 1,600 violations with potential fines totaling nearly $2 million. Illegally advertising RALs as “instant” or “rapid” refunds remained a top violation.
Read the press release
Tips about Refund Anticipation Loans

DCA Declares Debt Settlement Top Fraud of the Year

DCA Declares Debt Settlement Top Fraud of the Year
DCA Commissioner Mintz warns New Yorkers to beware of fee-based companies that claim to eliminate or lower debt but instead leave consumers in worse financial condition. The Commissioner alerted New Yorkers about new rules regulating companies that sell debt settlement by phone and issued consumer protection tips. Residents struggling with debt are encouraged to get free help at the City's Financial Empowerment Centers. Since Centers opened in June 2008, financial counselors have helped more than 9,300 clients pay down nearly $4 million in debt.
Read the press release
Learn your rights about debt settlement
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you

DCA Reports 97% Accuracy of Gas Pumps Citywide

DCA Reports 97% Accuracy of Gas Pumps Citywide
Enforcement Sweep Ensures New Yorkers Get What They Pay for Amid Rising Gas Prices
Last year, DCA’s Gas Squad inspected 10,850 gas pumps, condemning only 345. Inspectors check the accuracy and quality of gasoline dispensed, and also make sure that prices are posted and match what consumers are charged. Inspectors recheck condemned pumps before they can be put back into service. New Yorkers should look for the DCA seal which indicates a pump passed inspection.
Read the press release
File a complaint against a gas station

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Launch the City's Tax Credit Campaign

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Launch the City's Tax Credit Campaign to Help New Yorkers File Their Taxes for Free or Low Cost, Claim Refundable Tax Credits, and Build Savings
This tax season, the City offers eligible New Yorkers more tax filing options than ever, including free online tax preparation, free tax preparation by a certified volunteer, and only $29 for commercial tax preparation. At select sites New Yorkers may also have the opportunity to open a City-sponsored SaveUSA account and earn a 50% "match"—up to $500—when they save part of their tax refund for a full year. DCA provides information about important refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC).
Read the press release
Find out which tax filing option is best for you
Learn about the SaveUSA account
Learn about the EITC
Learn about the NYC CCTC

NYC Recognized as Leader in Helping Families with Low and Moderate Incomes Achieve Financial Security

NYC Recognized as Leader in Helping Families with Low and Moderate Incomes Achieve Financial Security
Report Praises Work of DCA's Office of Financial Empowerment and Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition
A report released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) highlighted NYC's free Financial Empowerment Centers and $aveNYC Account as innovative strategies to help residents build savings and assets. CFED also credited the CFE Coalition, co-chaired by NYC with San Francisco, with breaking new ground in the field of municipal financial empowerment.
Read the press release
Learn more about OFE Initiatives
Learn more about the CFE Coalition

DCA Steps Up Enforcement of Supermarkets, Issuing More Than 700 Violations with Potential Fines Exceeding $300,000

DCA Steps Up Enforcement of Supermarkets, Issuing More Than 700 Violations with Potential Fines Exceeding $300,000
Increased Inspections Fulfill Commissioner's Promise to Protect New Yorkers at the Cash Register
DCA conducted nearly 500 inspections of supermarkets since its last sweep, and found that compliance has dropped even further to an all-time low of 33 percent. Top violations remain lack of prices on individual items; scanner errors at checkout, including improper taxation of items that are not taxable; improperly weighed and marked packaged food; and improper labeling. DCA will continue its intense enforcement and industry outreach efforts to lead supermarkets to do better by New York City shoppers.
Read the press release
Download DCA's guide Saving at the Supermarket
File a complaint about a supermarket overcharging