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Connecticut to host consumer protection contest for youths

Connecticut Department of Consumer ProtectionA youth contest with a special focus on Consumer Protection Week, which runs March 2-8, will be held this week by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

The contest, which includes an online quiz and essay contest, is based on the agency’s SmartConsumer.ct.gov website, which provides basic information on fraud and scams, payday loans, privacy concerns and other consumer issues.

Three winners of the contest will receive an Apple iPad Mini, iPod Touch or Kindle Fire.

“We want to reach our younger constituency where they live, and that is with technology,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said. “This generation is growing up with technology more than any other group of consumers, and will continue to use it to make purchasing choices throughout their lives. To educate youth about how to steer clear of fraud, scams and plain old bad deals is to equip them with the basic tools they need as they face the world of digital currency and cyberdeals.”

The contest is open to all Connecticut residents between the ages of 12 and 18. Contestants will first complete a 10-question multiple-choice quiz, and individuals who score 100 percent or higher will move on to the next phase—a 500-word essay on information learned from the website and how it might apply to their lives.

Official contest rules and instructions will be posted on the state’s Smart Consumer website. Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded in April.

“… Most [scams] are just updated versions of schemes that circulated 50 or even 100 years ago,” Rubenstein said. “Some details may be updated but the deception is still the same. If we can help consumers to consistently spot these signs and clues, to trust their instincts and walk away, a great deal of fraud could be prevented.”

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