McGuinty Government Protecting Young Consumers Against Scams

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Protecting Young Consumers Against Scams

Ministry of Consumer Services

2008 Smart Consumer Calendar Now Available To The Public QUEEN'S PARK, Nov. 27 - Educating young consumers is the best defence against fraudulent schemes and sophisticated scams that are increasingly targeting 18-25 year olds, Government and Consumer Services Minister Ted McMeekin said today at the launch of the annual Smart Consumer Calendar. "Ontario has become a leader in consumer protection, and we are determined to keep it that way for generations to come," said McMeekin. "That's why our 2008 Smart Consumer Calendar features valuable information that will help young consumers as they enter the work world, borrow money, purchase their first car or buy a home." McMeekin launched this year's calendar at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management. The ministry's co-sponsors and partners joined the Minister, including Toronto Police Service Staff Inspector Stephen Harris, unit commander of the Fraud Squad and chair of the Toronto Strategic Partnership on cross-border fraud, Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy, and several business students who are today's young consumers and tomorrow's marketplace leaders. "Education is always the public's best defence against fraud, especially now for young people shopping in the internet age." said Staff Inspector Harris. "We are pleased to join with all Ontario police services to support the 2008 Smart Consumer Calendar, because we know how effective this product is at raising awareness when it arrives in dorm rooms, homes and organizations across the province." "Ryerson University is training tomorrow's business leaders, and ethics are a vital part of that education," said Ken Jones, Dean of Ryerson's Ted Rogers School of Management. "Tools like this calendar help keep consumers well informed, and that's good news for the future leaders we're developing here." The government has taken a number of steps to improve consumer protection across the province - all under the framework of Ontario's consumer protection and safety legislation - including: - Banning expiry dates on retail gift cards; - Requiring payday lenders to communicate clearly with the public regarding the consequences of their loans; and - Requiring all electrical products to be certified and labeled before they are sold in Ontario. "I'm especially pleased to be launching the calendar here at Ryerson University," Minister McMeekin concluded. "Young Ontarians are increasingly becoming targets of fraud, and they need all the information we can give them in order to understand their rights, act on their new responsibilities as consumers, and protect themselves in the process." Ordering the Smart Consumer Calendar has never been easier. The public can call toll free at 1-800-668-9938 to place an order, or order online at www.serviceontario.ca/publications. Handling and delivery are free of charge. For more information on consumer protection in Ontario, visit www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection or call the ministry's Consumer Services Bureau at 1-800-889-9768 (or in Toronto at 416-326-8800). Disponible en français www.mgs.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONSUMER PROTECTION IN ONTARIO AND THE 2008 SMART CONSUMER CALENDAR 2008 Smart Consumer Calendar The 2008 Smart Consumer Calendar provides consumers with helpful tips and resources, while educating them about frauds and scams in the marketplace. - The ministry will distribute 275,000 English and 30,000 French copies of the calendar to individuals and organizations across Ontario - The calendar will be available at all MPP constituency offices, and at all Service Ontario/government information centres - The calendar can be ordered by individuals and groups, free of charge, by calling 1-800-668-9938, or by ordering online at www.serviceontario.ca/publications. - The calendar can also be downloaded from the ministry's website at www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection. - The 2008 Smart Consumer calendar is proudly sponsored by a number of private and public sector organizations, who work to protect both consumers and businesses across Ontario from frauds and scams, including: - Board of Funeral Services - Financial Services Commission of Ontario - Ministry of Health Promotion - Ontario Energy Board - Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council - Real Estate Council of Ontario - Bank of Canada - Investor Education Fund - Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan - Canadian Health Care Anti-Fraud Association - Interac Association - Canada Revenue Agency - Charities Directorate Recent Government Initiatives to Enhance Consumer Protection - December 2006: Land Title and Mortgage Fraud provisions to protect homeowners from losing their property, a fraudulent sale, or a counterfeit power of attorney. - December 2006: Streamlined the process to apply to the Land Titles Assurance Fund. - June 2007: New powers to suspend or revoke liquor licences. - July 2007: New regulation requiring electrical products to be certified and labeled. - August 2007: New payday lending requirements that require all payday lenders to communicate to consumers with greater transparency. - October 2007: New provisions for consumer gift cards prohibiting expiration dates and fees other than for replacement of a lost card or to customize a card. Top Ten Consumer Complaints 1. Collection Agencies 2. Home Repairs 3. Home Furnishing 4. Motor Vehicle Purchases 5. Motor Vehicle Repairs 6. Appliances 7. Health and Fitness Clubs 8. Credit Reporting 9. Personal Items (clothes, shoes, cosmetics) 10. Electricity Retailers/Natural Gas Marketers Disponible en français www.mgs.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Media contacts: Greg Dennis, Minister's Office, Office: (416) 327-3072, Cell: (647) 281-4403; Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8659 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Media contacts: Greg Dennis, Minister's Office, Office: (416) 327-3072, Cell: (647) 281-4403; Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8659