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Consumer Protection

The Future

The emerging global economy presents many opportunities and challenges for consumers. Computer and communications technology advances place powerful tools in the hands of consumers. While online, consumers can access a brokerage account, buy a clock directly from a German artisan, compare the prices of cell phone service, and research eighteenth-century passenger manifests—all from the home computer. These same technologies allow businesses to collect an unprecedented amount of information about the purchase patterns and financial holdings of consumers. As e-commerce becomes a driving market force, new problems will need to be addressed about how best to protect consumers of all ages. At the same time, all consumers need to be alert that frauds and scams can just as easily, and certainly more rapidly, happen electronically.



American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Consumer Behavior, Experiences and Attitudes. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 1999.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Consumer Home Equity/Home Improvement Lending Survey. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 2000.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Findings from a Baseline Omnibus Survey on Telemarketing Solicitations. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 1996.

Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics. Older Americans 2000: Key Indicators of Well-Being, 2000.

LOONIN, D. "Consumer Law and the Elderly: Using State Unfair and Deceptive Practices Statutes to Protect and Preserve the Financial Independence of Seniors." Bifocal 20, no. 3 (fall 1999): 1–10.

WASIK, J. "The Fleecing of America's Elderly." Consumers Digest 39, March Report (2000): 77.

YNTEMA, S., ed. Americans 55 and Older: A Changing Market. 2d ed. Ithaca, N.Y.: New Strategist Publications, Inc., 1999.


American Association of Retired Persons: www.aarp.org

Consumer Information Center: www.pueblo.gsa.gov

Consumer Product Safety Commission: www.cpsc.gov

Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov

National Association of Consumer Advocates: www.naca.net

National Consumer Law Center: www.consumerlaw.org

National Senior Citizens Law Center: www.nsclc.org

United States Postal Inspectors: www.usps.com/postalinspectors

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Consumer Protection - Consumer Expectations, Older Consumers At Risk, Protections Available, Sources Of Help, The Future