Don’t be April Fooled: 6 consumer protection tips to avoid scams, rip-offs today (and beyond)

Media Contacts

DENVER – From flight cancellations to scam calls, web cookies to recalled products, CoPIRG Foundation released 6 tips to avoid being fooled this April Fool’s Day. 

“Don’t be fooled this April Fool’s Day by scammers or other deceptive practices when you shop,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG Foundation executive director. “We’ve got simple tips for you to avoid common rip-offs and other strategies designed to get your personal information and your money.”

CoPIRG Foundation’s Don’t Be Fooled tips include:

  • Don’t respond to anyone you weren’t expecting to hear from
    • Bad actors can, and do, spoof Caller ID or email addresses to make it look like a call or email is coming from a major bank, or Amazon, or the IRS. They also construct scam text messages to make it appear they’re coming from a company you do business with, or that there’s some urgent issue you need to address. If you think a call, text, email or letter could be legitimate, call the relative, company or government office using contact information you look up independently and know is correct. And NEVER send gift card numbers or money for something you weren’t expecting to pay. More here.
  • If your flight is canceled for any reason, you’re entitled to a prompt refund if you want it. 
    • That’s right – even if it’s canceled due to the weather. Know your legal rights when you fly – if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, if your bag is lost or your wheelchair is damaged, if you’re bumped involuntarily or stuck on the tarmac.
  • Don’t let medical debt bring your credit score down. 
    • Medical debt, even when paid off, used to remain on credit reports for up to seven years and could lower your credit score. Now medical debt under $500 or medical debt you have already paid are removed from credit reports. Here’s how to make sure paid medical debt doesn’t lower your credit score. 
  • Don’t spend hundreds on a laptop or cell phone only to find you can’t fix it
    • Nobody walks into an electronics store and thinks, “I’m going to buy something that breaks.” We want to choose electronics that are durable and fixable, but how do we know which products are designed to last and which are destined for the dump? Our scorecard helps you choose a repairable phone or laptop.
  • Don’t unknowingly buy a product that has been recalled
    • If you’re considering buying a product, especially an expensive purchase, an item for a child or something that plugs in or runs off a rechargeable battery, check for recalls on and check for complaints on We’ve got additional tips to avoid recalled products here.
  • Don’t accept web cookies
    • We’ve all run into pop-ups informing us the website we’re on uses cookies and asking us to accept. While hitting “accept” is the fastest way to get on with things, there are plenty of reasons why you want to think twice before clicking – from the types of data cookies collect on you, to who can buy that information, to how it ends up getting used. Follow our steps to reject cookies and protect your data privacy.