Consumer Education

The best way to prevent being scammed or having a problem in a consumer transaction is to be educated on the issues.

 

Be A Savvy Consumer

Issues to Be Aware of:

Identity Theft

Scams

Towing Rights

Charities

Extended Warranties

Links to Other Consumer On-line Resources

Hawaii Links and Contacts

State Government

Business

Education

Elections

Employment Opportunities

Housing

Human Resources

International Trade

Labor

Permits and Licenses

Records

Recreation

References

Rulings/Regulations

Science and Technology

Social Services

Statistics

Transportation

Visitor Industry

Legal links

Helpful Consumer Numbers

HELPFUL CONSUMER NUMBERS

Action Line 591-0222 Consumer Complaint Resolution Service
Better Business Bureau 536-6956 Consumer and Business Relations
Building Inspector 527-6339 Construction, Maintenance, and Safety Codes; Zoning Ordinances; Sub-standard Housing Complaints
Child Welfare Services
(24 hr)
832-5300 Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect
Civil Rights Commission 586-8636 Civil Rights

Credit Reporting Companies
Companies that Gather and Sell Information About You Regarding Your Credit (Enforced by the FTC)

Equifax 685-1111
Experian (800)
682-7654
TransUnion (800)
916-8800

DCCA

Business Registration Division (BREG) 587-3222 Questions regarding; Lemon law, Hawaii Laws & Statutes, Filing Complaints; registration on existing business; verification of licensed person; prior complaints history
Consumer Advocacy 586-2800 Protects Consumer with regard to Regulated Utility & Transportation services
Consumer Dial Program 587-1234 Various Consumer Alerts, Bus. Reg. Forms by Fax, Consumer Topics
Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) 586-2820 Regulates State-Chartered Financial Institutions
Insurance Division 586-2790 Oversees Insurance Industry
Securities Commission 586-2740 Investigates Securities Fraud

District & Small Claims Courts
(538-5151)
(Small Claims Court) Claims up to $3500 (District Court) Claims up to $10,000; Non Jury Trials; Petty Misdemeanors; Non-Criminal

Maui 244-2838
Molokai 553-5451
Lanai 565-6447
Kauai 246-3330
Kona 322-8700

Executive Office on Aging

Executive Office on Aging 586-0100 Services for Seniors

Police Dept.

Emergency 911 For In-Progress Complaints
Confidential code a phone 955-3500 Filing Complaints
Crime stoppers 955-8300 Accepts Information on Crimes

Legal

Ask a Lawyer 537-1868 Free Legal Advice – Wednesdays ONLY between 6:00 -7:00 pm
Hawaii State Bar Association 537-1868 Verification of Licensure for Lawyers
Office of Disciplinary Counsel 521-4591 Complaints against Lawyers

Legal (Mediation)
Volunteer Mediators ($10 fee).

Neighborhood Justice Center 521-6767
Med. Service of Maui 244-5744
Med. Center of Molokai 553-3844
Kauai Med. Program 245-4077
Ku’iahi Med. Center-Hilo 935-7844
West HI Med. Serv.-Kamuela 885-5525

Legal Aid Society
Attorney’s office equipped to help people who are income eligible, to obtain: free service; counsel; advice and Representation Volunteer Mediators ($10 fee)

Oahu 536-4302
Maui 244-3731
Molokai 553-3251
Lanai 565-6089
Kauai 245-4728
Hilo 961-2851
Kona 329-8331

Legislative Reference Bureau

Legislative Reference Bureau 587-0670 Questions on Revised Statutes

National Fraud Info Center

National Fraud Info Center (800)
876-7060
Consumers can Ask Questions or Make Fraud Reports

Postal Inspector

Postal Inspector (800)
654-8896
Mail Fraud Hotline

Filing On-line Complaints

Telephone Company Complaints (on-line) FCC http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm Consumers can File Complaints against Telephone Companies On-Line

Neighbor Island Toll-Free Numbers
(Used when calling from neighbor islands)

Big Island 974-4000 (Then dial the last five digits of the state phone number)
Kauai 274-3141 (Then dial the last five digits of the state phone number)
Maui 984-2400 (Then dial the last five digits of the state phone number)
Molokai or Lanai (800)
468-4644
(Then dial the last five digits of the state phone number)
Federal Links

Federal Government

New Service for Consumers from the Federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) .  If you have questions regarding credit cards, mortgages, credit reports and scores, prepaid cards, or debt collections, you can go to the “Ask CFPB” website, a new interactive online tool from the CFPB. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/ Search the existing questions and responses for an answer to your question. As soon as you begin typing in a question, the database’s autocomplete feature begins to provide various search suggestions. Users can also browse product categories and tags. From any search page, they can narrow their choices by specific topics, such as “fees” or “closing,” or by populations, like servicemembers, students, and older Americans.

Ask CFPBcurrently contains more than 350 easy-to-read, plain-language entries written by the Bureau’s subject-matter experts. Consumers can view entries organized by “most helpful,” “most viewed,” or “recently updated.”