What Should You Do?

Published 28 Apr 2017

The first issue is the safety of children’s products. Don and Marie wish to sell a great deal of children’s furniture, clothing and toys at a garage sale. However, Marie wants to make sure that they are not selling items that may pose a safety hazard to children because the items are several years old. Marie wants to take the appropriate steps to ensure that the items that she and Don sell are safe for use by children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides links and resources that will allow Don and Marie to type in the items that they wish to sell in order to read the standards these items must meet in order to be considered safe. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a very useful website for determining the safety of many different products. There is a link on the homepage that provides a huge amount of product safety standard information. When this linked is clicked on the visitor is prompted to choose a product from a long list and then is directed to the appropriate resources in order to discover what safety standards must be met in order to ensure the safety of the product.

The information on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website is very comprehensive and useful. The items included in the standards list are very specific. For example, if Don and Marie have children’s clothing that has drawstrings on them the website has a link to safety standards associated specifically with drawstrings on clothing. When this item is clicked the visitor is redirected to another search engine where “drawstrings” can be typed in. Then the visitor is provided with a series of links in order to check the safety standards associated with this type of clothing.

The major drawback is that many of the links require payment in order to view the safety information. Ultimately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website is useful in that it provides a wealth of information associated with the safety standards of children’s products as well as many other products. However, one is left to wonder why payment is required in order to access safety information. This type of information should be similar to recall lists so that it is easily accessible to people like Don and Marie who wish to ensure the safety of children when they sell their items. However, if Don and Marie truly wish to check the safety of the products they wish to sell they may have to break down and pay for that information. Don and Marie may not be liable for any injuries that are caused by products they sell if they ensure that the products meet safety standards. Legally, they may not even be held responsible if they knowingly sell a product that does not meet safety standards because that should be the responsibility of the parent or guardian. However, Don and Marie seem to be responsible people and should refrain from selling items that they are not absolutely sure are safe. This way they can avoid any connection with injuries while also keeping a clear conscious.

The second issue is concerned with scamming the elderly. Mary’s elderly mother is being pressured by an aggressive salesperson to move money from her retirement account into a different account that promises higher returns. However, Mary does not feel comfortable with the idea because she feels that the salesperson is pressuring her mother to do something without thinking it through. Mary needs to find some resources to support her opinion so she can help convince her mother to leave her money where it is. The homepage of the Office of the Attorney General of Kentucky has a link that deals specifically with scams. When this link is clicked on a visitor can choose from a list of scam types such as email or telephone in order to receive the most up to date and appropriate information for a specific type of scam. When the link to the phone scam is chosen it provides ten tips for helping consumers find out whether they are being scammed over the telephone. Mary can print this list and take it to her mother in order to start a discussion that will help Mary’s mother see what is happening.

The list includes red flags that indicate a scam may be taking place. For example, the first item on the list is high pressure sales tactics. The fact that the salesperson calling Mary’s mother is so aggressive suggests that the new type of investment is really a scam because the caller is using high pressure tactics in order to try to convince Mary’s mother to invest her money. Other examples that may tip Mary’s mother off to a possible scam are a proposal that sounds too good to be true and the fact that the caller is suggesting that the investment does not pose any risk. When an offer sounds too good to be true it is often because it is too good to be true. Similarly, investments always come with a risk so if someone is telling Mary’s mother that her money will be 100% safe it is a good indication that the investment opportunity is really a scam.

The information provided on the website is comprehensive in providing information that may help a consumer determine whether they are being scammed or not. It also includes links with information pertaining to laws about telemarketing. Finally, the website offers helpful tips to consumers in order to enable them to avoid being the victims of a scam. For example, the website recommends that consumers check the identification of the people or companies who can to see if they are registered with the Attorney General. It is also recommended that people who are being harassed simply hang up rather than give into something they are not comfortable with.

The only thing that appears to be lacking is information about what to do if a consumer suspects that they already are the victim of a scam. While prevention is certainly an important part of this website it would also be useful if consumers could access information about what to do and who to talk to if they have become the victim of a scam. This information could include what to do to file a criminal report, how to protect the integrity of one’s credit and reputation as well as how to repair the monetary damage that was done to a consumer’s credit and banking records. This type of information would add to the resources available to consumers.


  • Office of the Attorney General. (2009). Consumer Protection.
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety. (2009). Consumer Safety.
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