By Brandon Bosworth, Assistant Editor, Ho’okele
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) hosted a Consumer and Financial Protection Fair at the Navy Exchange, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on July 16. Several hundred people showed up for the event, which marked Military Consumer Protection Day.
Military personnel and their families often face unique financial challenges. Military Consumer Protection Day (MCPD) is a joint initiative between the state and federal agencies to help deal with these issues.
“The purpose of MCPD is to promote consumer and financial protection education by providing free information that will help protect people’s privacy, manage their money and debt, and avoid identity theft, frauds and scams,” said Kealii Lopez, DCCA director.
Brent Suyama, DCAA communications officer, believes it is important to reach out to service members and their families.
“We really see the military as an underserved area regarding consumer protection,” he said.
According to Suyama, issues regarding purchasing vehicles and tenant-landlord disputes are some of the most common problems military personnel have.
More than two dozen government and nonprofit agencies participated in the event, providing information and answering questions. Free document shredding was also provided on site during the fair.
This was the first time DCAA has held a Consumer and Financial Protection Fair at JBPHH, but there are plans for future fairs.
“We absolutely plan to make this an annual event,” Suyama said. “The military is part of our community, and they protect us in a real physical sense. We want to protect them in a financial sense.”
The MCPD website, http://www.military.ncpw.gov, features tools people can use to recognize rip-offs, sniff out scams, and make smart financial choices.
Several hundred people showed up for the Consumer and Financial Protection Fair held at the Navy Exchange, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on July 16.