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HOWELL, NJ – Freehold Township High School came up winners in the 2017 Monmouth County Consumer Bowl, a game-show-style competition for teams of high school students held Feb. 14 at the Monmouth County Fire Academy.

Students from seven high schools answered consumer-related questions in a multiple choice and open-ended format to test their knowledge of consumer issues, such as Internet fraud and buying and leasing automobiles.

The six-member team from Freehold Township High School successfully earned its 2017 Monmouth County Consumer Bowl title against students from Colts Neck, Freehold Borough, Howell, Manalapan and Raritan and Saint John Vianney High School.

“The best part about this program is that all of our participating young adults gained some knowledge about what it takes to help them be smarter consumers and possibly future consumer advocates,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, who was on hand to congratulate the winners. “It is also a great way to promote the County’s Consumer Affairs office, which enforces consumer laws and helps people who suspect they might be victims of unscrupulous business practices.”

In the final round, Freehold Twp. faced-off with Howell High School. Though the scores were close, the Freehold Township team was victorious and won the 2017 County Consumer Bowl for the seventh time in eight years. .

“It’s important that teens understand consumer and business concepts, like credit and identity theft, banking and fraud, marketing and advertising,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County’s Division of Consumer Affairs. “Consumer Bowl participants are a step ahead of their peers with their knowledge of consumer issues and are well-prepared to tackle issues in the marketplace.”

Team members are Anna Landre (team captain), Matthew Bernstein, Jake LaFronz, Michael Galanaugh and Raiyan Hussain. Their advisor is Dan Cooper; school principal is Elizabeth Higley.

The Freehold Township team now moves on to the regional competition on April 6 with home field advantage because the competition will be held at the Monmouth County Fire Academy. The winner of the regional competition will go on to compete in the 2017 New Jersey State Consumer Bowl scheduled for May in Trenton.

The New Jersey High School Consumer Bowl is a program of the state Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs. It was established in 1997 to help students learn about consumer issues that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Since the County’s Division of Consumer Affairs was established in 1977, the department has handled more than 50,000 complaints and resolved disputes, resulting in savings to consumers of more than $22 million; $9 million has been resolved in the past five years.

Consumer Affairs is a law enforcement agency, created and funded by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It protects against consumer fraud and dishonest and dishonest business practices by enforcing the state Consumer Fraud Act and many other regulations.

Additional information about fraud and other consumer affairs programs can be found on the County website at www.VisitMonmouth.com, by calling 732-431-7900 or email ConsumerAffairs@co.monmouth.nj.us. The office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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