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How To Avoid Fraud And Know Your Rights As A Consumer

U.S. consumers lose billions of dollars each year through fraud.

Up until the mid-20th century, consumers had limited rights with regard to products and services they purchased. "Let the buyer beware" was the rule of the marketplace.

With today's regulatory agencies, watchdog organizations and product liability laws, consumers are much more protected than in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy introduced the "Consumer Bill of Rights."

But that doesn't mean consumers are safe. There will always be scammers, con artists and unscrupulous business people more than happy to take your money and give you nothing in return. And online shopping, email, social media and our comfort level with sharing our personal information, puts consumers at more potential risk than ever before.

March 3-9 is National Consumer Protection Week, and joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss how to recognize and avoid the most common scams and consumer fraud, and talk about our rights as consumers, are U.S. Postal Inspector Kathy Woliung, a Certified Fraud examiner for the U.S. Postal Service in Cincinnati; Consumer Educator with the Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section, Ryan Lippe; and Cincinnati BBB Public Relations Specialist Sandra Guile.

A panel discussion, "How to Protect Yourself from Consumer Frauds," takes place Wednesday, March 6, at the Boone County Public Library in Burlington from 10 to 11:30 a.m. A Consumer Protection Forum will be held at the Warren County Educational Services Center, 1879 Deerfield Rd. in Lebanon, Ohio Thursday March 7 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.