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DMA Offers Resources for National Consumer Protection Week
WASHINGTON, DC, February 9, 2007 — In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week (February 4-10, 2007), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) would like to call attention to resources that are available year-round to help consumers prevent identity theft, recognize fraudulent solicitations, and protect themselves in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.
This year’s observance of National Consumer Protection Week takes as its theme “Read Up and Reach Out: Be an Informed Consumer.” The week is meant to draw attention to the wealth of information that is available to educate and inform consumers.
“We live in a marketplace that is powered by technology and the exchange of data, but that rests on a foundation of consumer trust – trust that is undermined by scam artists and criminals who take advantage of unsuspecting consumers,” said Patricia Kachura, DMA’s senior vice president for ethics and consumer affairs. “DMA strongly supports efforts such as the National Consumer Protection Week that empower consumers to protect themselves.”
In cooperation with government agencies and consumer organizations, DMA offers numerous resources designed to help consumers guard against fraud and identity theft.
Stamping Out Sweepstakes Scams
DMA and the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) have joined forces in a nationwide consumer education initiative to help people recognize fraudulent sweepstakes offers. The most important warning for consumers is that any legitimate sweepstakes offers will not require you to make a purchase or pay a fee in order to claim a prize. A complete guide for consumers is available online at http://www.dmaconsumers.org/sweepstakeshelp.html.
Avoiding Identity Theft
DMA is working with the Federal Trade Commission to help educate consumers about how to deter identity theft by safeguarding their personal information, detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring financial accounts and billing statements, and defend against identity theft as soon as a problem is suspected. Complete information about the campaign can be found at www.avoIDtheft.org.
Being On Guard Online
Thanks to the Internet, people can shop from the comfort of home, check their bank balance 24 hours a day or access their office from across the globe. Unfortunately, the Internet can also be fertile ground for scam artists and criminals. DMA works with the FTC to disseminate OnGuard Online, a brochure offering seven tips for creating a safer online experience. The brochure is available online at http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/OnGuardOnline.pdf.
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The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents more than 3,600 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 50 other nations, including a majority of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.
In 2006, marketers — commercial and nonprofit — spent $166.5 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated $1.93 trillion in incremental sales. Last year, direct marketing accounted for 10.3 percent of total US GDP. Also, there are today 1.7 million direct marketing employees in the US alone. Their collective sales efforts directly support 8.8 million other jobs. That accounts for 10.5 million US jobs.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.
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