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The Consumer Toolbox
The Consumer Toolbox provides the tools you need to become an empowered consumer so that you can make informed decisions.
Jan 31, 2022
Identity Theft Awareness Week
This week I will join the Federal Trade Commission to help promote Identity Theft Awareness Week. I invite you to participate! With identity theft continuing to be on the uptick, there are two important and free steps for you to take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. The first is to monitor your request three free credit report. The second is to freeze your three credit reports. That's it...it's that simple! Follow these links to do just that: * Request your three free credit reports * Freeze your Experian credit file * Freeze your Equifax credit file * Freeze your TransUnion credit file If you have questions, please email them to TheConsumerToolbox@gmail.com. Remember to rate and subscribe to this podcast. Thank you for listening! ~Milagros~
Jan 26, 2022
Data Privacy Week: Take Control of Your Data and Own Your Privacy!
This week is Data Privacy Week. It's a new year and it's time for consumers to take control of their data and own their privacy! As consumers, our lives are intertwined each and every day from online shopping to using social media to engage with others. While the digital world affords us much convenience and entertainment, it also poses risks to our personal information and data. We have an obligation to ourselves of taking control our privacy and how our data is collected, processed, stored, shared and used. Too often, we are quick to choose convenience over privacy. In this episode, Milagros speaks candidly to bring awareness of how you can “Own and Take Control of our Privacy." That's right! Own it and Control it! You owe it to yourself. To learn more, visit StaySafeOnline.org. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast and rate this episode. Thank you for listening! ~Milagros~
Nov 10, 2021
When I Become the Consumer
Hi Listeners! I'm back. Sorry for the long hiatus. Listen to this episode to hear of the "not-so-welcomed" issues I was dealing with these past few months. You will soon discover that I, although a well-versed consumer advocate, can have consumer disputes and issues. I will share with you my own personal stories, and will describe how I was able to resolve them...even weeks or months later. Happy listening! Remember to subscribe and rate this episode. It's you, the listeners of The Consumer Toolbox that keep me wanting to come back. ~Milagros~
Jun 14, 2021
The Nuts and Bolts of Auto Repair
If you own a car, you're probably familiar with the expenses and headaches associated with auto repair. Too often consumers either pay too much for a repair, or are dissatisfied with the quality of the work performed. In this episode, Camille and I provide you with the tools you need to know before you bring your car in for maintenance or repair. There are questions for you to ask, and documents to be signed before the mechanic begins to work on your vehicle. Remember that a well-maintained vehicle will take you the extra miles, so don't ignore the warning signs (lights on the dashboard). If you haven't already, be sure to rate and subscribe to this podcast, and tell your family and friends as well. After all, we're all consumers! Stay safe and be well, ~Milagros~
May 23, 2021
Vacation Scams are Heating Up!
Don't get duped by a scam when booking your next vacation or family trip! If you're anything like me, you're ready for a vacation or getaway! But with scams on the rise during the pandemic, you want to hear of the different ones taking consumers for a ride. In this episode, I will share with you the different types of vacation scams, as well as ways for you to protect yourself from them. So before you book your next trip, be sure to listen to this episode...you won't regret it! Please remember to subscribe so you don't miss any of the episodes. A review would also be appreciated. You can also send me an email at TheConsumerToolbox@gmail.com. Stay safe and be well... ~Milagros~
Mar 5, 2021
National Consumer Protection Week: Highlights and consumer news!
This was a National Consumer Protection (NCPW) like no other. Why? Because we had to adapt to doing it virtually...and via The Consumer Toolbox podcast. Surprisingly enough, my colleague, Camille and I were just as productive, if not more than ever. We were able to reach more consumers than we thought possible. We tried new things, which you will hear about in this episode. It was an eventful week despite not being able to be physically out in the community. To our loyal subscribers, thank you for tuning in and listening! To the new listeners and subscribers, welcome and thank you!! I'll be back soon...just not tomorrow or the next day. Until next time... ~Milagros~
Mar 4, 2021
National Consumer Protection Week: Online "Social" Security Awareness
I could not let National Consumer Protection Week come close to an end without my dedicating an episode to Older Americans who are learning to navigate the cyber world. To many of them, this is a new era and way of communicating with the outside world as they stay safe in their homes during the pandemic. In this episode, I am talking directly to those who have older parents, family members, friends or neighbors who deserve to know of the many risks and dangers that come when using the internet, whether its for email purposes, shopping, or socially connecting with their loved ones, medical providers, shopping. They too deserve to know how to safely and securely navigate the internet on their electronic devices. Please listen and share the podcast with them before you follow through with the advice, suggestions and tips I provide to help protect them, their devices, and personal and financial information. Remember to subscribe and share your new knowledge with others. ~Milagros~
Mar 3, 2021
National Consumer Protection Week: Evictions & Foreclosure and the Moratorium
First and foremost, I want to thank my colleague, Camille Christian, a Case Specialist at the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information for offering to host Episode 4 of the National Consumer Protection Week series. Camille and I are equally passionate about our work, and know the importance of consumer advocacy and education. In this episode, Camille discusses the eviction and foreclosure moratorium. She also reads questions The Consumer Toolbox has received from consumers, and provides answers to each question. If you are facing eviction or foreclosure, or know someone who is, you're going to want to listen to this episode. One piece of advice Camille offers is that, "You are not alone...there is help for you, but you must seek it now." Don't forget to subscribe and rate this episode. Thank you for listening to The Consumer Toolbox! ~Milagros~
Mar 2, 2021
National Consumer Protection Week: Credit Despair and Repair
With the pandemic affecting our finances, it seems that credit is a concern for many consumers. And there's nothing wrong with that! What is wrong though is the misconception on how to handle negative credit reporting, or when our credit scores take a plunge. In this episode of The Consumer Toolbox I give a simple and clear explanation on how to get a better grip on our credit scores by first understanding our credit reports. While they kind-of-sort of go hand-in-hand, one takes precedence over the other. Listen and you'll understand! Remember to subscribe to The Consumer Toolbox, and don't forget to subscribe and share it with others so they too can get empowered! ~Milagros~
Mar 1, 2021
National Consumer Protection Week: Home Improvement
Spring is around the corner and so are home improvement scams! There is homework for you to do *before* you hire a home improvement contractor. Learn the steps you must take to avoid falling to a home improvement scam or you hire a fraudulent contractor or handyman. Be sure to subscribe and like this episode, and share it with your family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Remember that, "Education is the Best Prevention!" ~Milagros~
Feb 28, 2021
National Consumer Protection Week: February 28 - March 6, 2021
It's my favorite week of the year! Today kicks off *National Consumer Protection Week* and I couldn't think of anything better to do than to bring to you an introduction to this year's event! This will be my first year not being out in my community but I am thrilled to use this platform to reach listeners of The Consumer Toolbox! I have one favor to ask of you...please subscribe and review this podcast and share it with your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors! Why? Because they are all consumers too and deserve to be empowered this week, and every week! Join me and other state and federal authorities, agencies and consumer advocates on this year's Consumer Protection Week's mission! Oh, and be sure to listen to my daily podcast episodes this week... ~Milagros~
Feb 16, 2021
Ways to Complain Effectively
If you want your complaint to be heard and resolved, there's a right way to address your concerns to a business or merchant. Whether you do it by phone, email or letter, using the right tone, choosing the right words and addressing your complaint to the right person may likely get you the resolution you are seeking. But before you do that, you must set aside your emotions. In this episode, I will share with you tips and suggestions to help you complain effectively...because *your complaint matters*! A gentle reminder, please remember to subscribe to my podcast and rate this episode! Enjoy... Milagros
Dec 18, 2020
Your Car Buying Power!
Due to a large number of requests from its listeners, this episode is a sequel to Episode 1: Wait! Don't Buy a Lemon! Thank you all for your positive feedback, and of course, for listening to The Consumer Toolbox podcast! In this episode, Milagros provides additional tips on avoiding buying a lemon, and reinforces you using *"Your Car Buying Power!" * Remember to subscribe to The Consumer Toolbox and submit your comments, feedback and questions via email to TheConsumerToolbox@gmail.com.
Nov 29, 2020
Episode 3: The Many Scams of Christmas
With the pandemic at its highest peak this holiday season, most of us have turned to online shopping over brick-and-mortar. However this is creating a perfect storm for cybercriminals to access and steal our financial and personal information, hack our computers, and do all they can to rob us of our holiday cheer and joy. "What you think may be a good deal, may be a good steal (for a scammer)!" In this episode, Milagros is joined by Camille Christian, a Case Specialist at the Mayor's Office of Consumer Information, a Local Consumer Program working in cooperation with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. Together they bring awareness to shopping safely online, and offer tips on protecting your electronic devices, and some of the ways you can avert a scam or fraud. *Wishing everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!*
Oct 20, 2020
Scams, Fraud & Identity Theft: The Past, Present & Future
It goes without saying that scams, fraud and identity theft are part of our past, present and future. This is why we must learn to, *"stop, breath, and take a step back to think" *when we suspect it to be a scam when we get a telephone call, email or text. In Episode 2, Milagros talks candidly about how fraudsters target us each day, and what steps we must take to better protect our personal information and finances, as well as how to "manage the damage" done to us.
Sep 14, 2020
Wait! Don't Buy a Lemon!
Too often consumers buy cars that don't run or barely run. Before shopping for your new car, you need the tools to make an informed decision to avoid from buying a lemon.
Sep 14, 2020
The Consumer Toolbox: Trailer
Meet the host, Milagros and hear what's inside The Consumer Toolbox! It will lead you to subscribe to the podcast.