As the number of financial fraud and scam cases increases across the United States, U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday issued a presidential proclamation for National Consumer Protection Week.
The importance of the heightened awareness comes as "millions of Americans use financial products, including credit cards, mortgages, and student loans, to build the foundation for a better tomorrow. These tools help bring our aspirations within reach and empower countless individuals to earn an education, afford a home, or raise a family," Obama said in the proclamation.
"Yet, irresponsible lending and deceptive practices pose serious risks to consumers and our economy alike. During National Consumer Protection Week, we recommit to empowering all Americans with the clear and concise information they need to make financial decisions, and to encouraging open and honest competition in the marketplace," Obama said.
During the week, consumer advocacy groups, private organizations, and agencies have celebrated the protection week "by highlighting the ways individuals and families can protect themselves from scams, fraud, and abuse," he said.
"Robust consumer education is essential to a healthy economy, and I encourage all Americans to learn more about money management, avoiding identity theft, understanding loans and mortgages, and other topics at: www.NCPW.gov," the U.S. president said.
Obama said that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, under the leadership of Director Richard Cordray, is leading the charge on strengthening oversight and accountability in the country's financial markets. This comes after the administration's launch last year of the "Know Before You Owe" campaign to "simplify home loan applications, student financial aid packages, and credit card agreements and make it easier for consumers to compare options.," Obama said in the statement.