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Department of Consumer Affairs
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DCA Additional Features

January-June 2013
July-December 2012
January-June 2012
July-December 2011
January-June 2011
July-December 2010   
January-June 2010   
December 2009 


DCA’s Newest “Protect Your Money” Campaign Highlights How Agency Can Help Consumers and Businesses

DCA’s Newest “Protect Your Money” Campaign Highlights How Agency Can Help Consumers and Businesses
”How Can Consumer Affairs Help You Today” Features Real Staff Advising Businesses and Consumers about Essential Services
Consumer Affairs staff shares ways DCA serves businesses and protects consumers, including:

   • Helping businesses get or renew a DCA license
   • Mediating consumer complaints against a business
   • Educating businesses through DCA’s online Business
      Toolbox, evening Open Houses, and annual Business
      Education Day
   • Inspecting businesses to ensure customers are treated fairly
   • Helping New Yorkers take control of their finances through
      the City’s free Financial Empowerment Centers

Want to ask Consumer Affairs how we can help you?
Tweet @NYCDCA using #HiDCA or post to our Facebook page. The Protect Your Money campaign series educates New Yorkers about City services to help them manage and protect their money.

View the ads and learn more about our Protect Your Money campaigns

DCA Finds One in Three Funeral Homes Violates Consumers' Rights to Privately Review Pricing Information Without High Pressure Sales Tactics

DCA Finds One in Three Funeral Homes Violates Consumers' Rights to Privately Review Pricing Information Without High Pressure Sales Tactics
DCA conducted more than 400 in-person and 50 undercover telephone inspections during a two-month investigation of funeral homes. Funeral homes are legally required to honor New Yorkers’ rights to receive full pricing and other information over the telephone or through front-door price lists. DCA issued over 325 violations, 94 percent of which were for violating these consumer rights. Potential fines could total nearly $400,000. DCA wants New Yorkers to know their rights and to file a complaint against funeral homes that don't honor them.
Read the press release and get tips
Download DCA’s Funeral Planning Guide
Consumers: File a complaint
Businesses: Get quick tips from DCA

Commissioner’s Town Hall Held on April 30 in Staten Island

Commissioner’s Town Hall Held on April 30 in Staten Island
Commissioner Mintz and First Deputy Commissioner Pico discussed City rules and answered questions from local business owners that primarily focused on the home improvement and locksmith industries. The Town Hall was co-hosted by the Business Outreach Center of Staten Island/West Brighton LDC, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation.
Visit DCA's Business Toolbox for important information and resources
Visit DCA's Event Calendar

Shred Fest is May 20

Shred Fest is May 20
5th Annual Free City Event Helps New Yorkers Prevent Identity Theft
Shred your papers containing personal information safely and for free at one of 14 Shred Fest locations throughout the City. Get DCA’s identity theft prevention tips and the first four people to arrive with their papers at each site will receive a free personal shredder, donated by Staples.
Find a free Shred Fest location
Get identity theft prevention tips for consumers and businesses

DCA and Center for Economic Opportunity Release SaveUSA Program Implementation: Insights from the Field

DCA and Center for Economic Opportunity Release SaveUSA Program Implementation: Insights from the Field
This brief documents findings from Year 1 of SaveUSA, a national tax time matched savings program designed by DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment that received federal funding for replication and testing in New York and three additional cities. In the first year of the program, participants with an average income of $18,000 opened more than 1,600 SaveUSA accounts with close to $1 million in savings, confirming that families with low incomes can, and will, save if presented with the right opportunity. SaveUSA is an initiative of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and Center for Economic Opportunity Social Innovation Fund, and was implemented in New York City, Newark, San Antonio, and Tulsa.
Download the brief
View Research Publications
Learn about the Social Innovation Fund

Cities for Financial Empowerment Rings The Opening Bell on April 11 as NYSE Euronext Commemorates Financial Literacy Week (April 9-13)

Cities for Financial Empowerment Rings The Opening Bell on April 11 as NYSE Euronext Commemorates Financial Literacy Week (April 9-13)
Watch video
Visit CFE Web site

Tax Day is April 17. Go Get Your Refund!

Tax Day is April 17. Go Get Your Refund!
New Yorkers who earn $57,000 or less a year can claim refunds by filing for free at City-sponsored tax sites or online or for only $29 at H&R Block with the City coupon. DCA’s Tax Credit Campaign Web pages offer information on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit (CCTC). New Yorkers should ask their tax preparers how to claim these credits and get money back!
Read the press release
Learn how to file your taxes for free or low cost
Read Tax Credit Fast Facts
View DCA’s Tax Time video for Protect Your Money video series
View DCA's Tax Time public service announcement for Inform NYC video series

DCA Held First Commissioner’s Town Hall for Businesses on March 7 in Washington Heights

DCA Held First Commissioner’s Town Hall for Businesses on March 7 in Washington Heights
Commissioner Mintz and First Deputy Commissioner Pico discussed City rules and answered questions, in English and Spanish, from local business owners on issues including general vending, sidewalk café regulations, and pawnbroker business practices. The Town Hall was co-hosted by the Washington Heights BID and the Washington Heights-Inwood Chamber of Commerce. DCA staff distributed key DCA educational materials for business owners.
Visit DCA's Business Toolbox for important information and resources
Visit DCA's Event Calendar

Protect Your Money: Know Before You Enroll Ad Campaign

DCA Declares Predatory Schools Top Fraud of the Year
Commissioner Mintz highlighted predatory school scams as top consumer complaint during a press conference with the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau and other Federal and State agencies and organizations. Citing the "Protect Your Money: Know Before You Enroll" campaign, Commissioner Mintz urged consumers to take advantage of City services and programs to:
   • Research training programs
   • Find free and low-cost adult education and job training options
   • Get help understanding school contracts
   • File a complaint about a predatory school
   • Get free help with school debt and budgeting at an NYC Financial
      Empowerment Center

Read the press release and get tips
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site to view ads and learn more
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you

DCA Issues Violations to One out of Three Tax Preparers during Citywide Sweep to Protect Filers

DCA Issues Violations to One out of Three Tax Preparers during Citywide Sweep to Protect Filers
Illegally Marketed Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) among Top Violations; New Yorkers Urged to Use the City’s Safe Free or Low-Cost Tax Filing Options
Over a two-week period DCA conducted close to 850 inspections, issuing more than 1,000 violations to tax preparers who:
   • deceptively advertised high-interest RALs as "fast cash"
      or "instant refunds”
   • violated consumer rights
   • misrepresented their qualifications
Total fines could reach nearly $1 million.

Read press release and get tips
Learn how to file your taxes for free or low cost
What you need to know about RALs
View DCA's tax time public service announcement for Inform NYC video series

Commissioner Mintz Discussed the “Supervitamin Effect” on February 22 at Washington University in St. Louis

Commissioner Mintz Discussed the “Supervitamin Effect” on February 22 at Washington University's George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis
In a lecture titled “Developing Financial Capability in New York City,” Commissioner Mintz discussed findings from DCA’s recent report, Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs, and answered audience questions. The lecture was organized and supported by the Brown School’s Center for Social Development and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Learn more about the event
Download the report

DCA Held Open House for Garage and Parking Lot Licensees on February 8

DCA Held Open House for Garage and Parking Lot Licensees on February 8
Approximately 40 people attended DCA's Open House exclusively for garage and parking lot licensees. DCA staff discussed rules and regulations governing the industry, answered questions, and distributed Administrative Hearings—A Guide for Businesses and other key materials. DCA's Open House series educates licensees about the Department's business-friendly services, and helps them do right by their customers.
Visit DCA's Business Toolbox for important information and resources
Visit DCA's Event Calendar

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Urge Eligible Filers to Sign Up for SaveUSA Matched Tax Time Savings Program and Announce 2011 Results

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Urge Eligible Filers to Sign Up for SaveUSA Matched Tax Time Savings Program and Announce 2011 Results
10th Annual Tax Credit Campaign Includes Free or Low-Cost Filing Options
Filers across four cities, including NYC, opened more than 1,600 SaveUSA accounts, with total savings close to $1 million. At select free tax sites in NYC, eligible filers can open the SaveUSA account and earn a 50 percent match—up to $500—when they save part of their refund for one year. Eligible New Yorkers can also file their taxes online for free or get their taxes done at a participating H&R Block for $29.

Read the press release
Learn how to file your taxes for free or low cost
Learn about the SaveUSA program
Get information about tax credits, including Earned Income Tax Credit
View DCA’s Tax Time video on YouTube
View DCA's tax time public service announcement for Inform NYC video series

DCA Launches YouTube Channel with Three New Protect Your Money Videos

DCA Launches YouTube Channel with Three New Protect Your Money Videos
Visit DCA on YouTube to view the latest releases in the Protect Your Money video series. Featuring agency staff who offer straightforward tips and information on how to protect your hard-earned dollars, videos include:
    • Introduction from Commissioner Mintz
    • It’s Tax Time. Go Get Your Refund!
    • Know Your Rights about Debt Collection
    • Tips on Buying a Used Car
    • Shopping Tips
    • File a Complaint with DCA
Videos are available in English and Spanish.

Read the press release
Visit DCA’s YouTube channel
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site