About Us

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. NCPW 2014 will take place March 2 through March 8, 2014.

* NCPW Steering Committee Member

AARP*

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Alaska Attorney General, Consumer Protection Unit

The Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General's Office investigates unfair or deceptive business practices and files legal actions on behalf of the State of Alaska to stop such practices. The Consumer Protection Unit also engages in informal mediation of consumer complaints, educates the public about consumer issues, proposes legislation and regulations regarding trade and business practices, enforces antitrust laws, and registers telemarketers, charitable organizations, paid solicitors, and sellers of business opportunities.

Arizona Attorney General

The Attorney General serves as the chief legal officer of the State. The Attorney General is mandated by our constitution and elected to a four-year term by the people of Arizona.

The Attorney General's Office represents and provides legal advice to most State agencies; enforces consumer protection and civil rights laws; and prosecutes criminals charged with complex financial crimes and certain conspiracies involving illegal drugs. In addition, all appeals statewide from felony convictions are handed down by this Office.

The Child and Family Protection Division provides legal services to the Department of Economic Security (DES), including Child Protective Services (CPS) and Child Support Enforcement.

Consumer Protection Section Mission:

To protect the public from consumer fraud, antitrust and anti-competitive conduct. To provide advocacy and public education on consumer protection issues with an emphasis on fraud and abuse. To enforce tobacco laws and orders and to help reduce underage sale of tobacco products. To provide legal representation in judicial and administrative cases and legal advice and assistance in legislative and rule-making matter to state agencies.

Consumer fraud, as defined by Arizona law, is any deception, unfair act or practice, false statement, false pretense, false promise or misrepresentation made by a seller or advertiser of merchandise. In addition, concealment, suppression or failure to disclose a material fact may be consumer fraud if it is done with the intent that others rely on such concealment, suppression or nondisclosure. Merchandise may include any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services.

The Arizona Attorney General has the authority to bring actions alleging violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and other state and federal consumer protection laws.A private citizen can also bring an action for a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act within one year from the date the claim arises.

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you may file a consumer complaint here. For consumer inquiries, or to request a complaint form, call (602) 542-5763 (Phoenix), (520) 628-6504 (Tucson), or toll-free outside of metro Phoenix, (800) 352-8431.

 

Arkansas Attorney General

The Consumer Protection Division assists Arkansas consumers when problems arise during everyday consumer transactions. Sometimes, the Division may help by contacting a business and mediating a positive resolution. In some instances, attorneys in the Division pursue lawsuits against those who violate the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Arkansans who call the Division’s hotline at (800) 482-8982 will be greeted by a phone counselor who may take care of an issue, or forward the matter to one of the Division’s 10 investigators, who all specialize in fields ranging from cars to credit cards. The Division receives more than 7,000 complaints every year. Since 2007, the mediation process has led to more than $10 million returning to the hands of Arkansas consumers. The Consumer Protection team can be contacted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

One valuable resource for consumers is the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org. It contains helpful tips and tools crafted by the Consumer Protection team.

Better Business Bureau*

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.

California Department of Consumer Affairs

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is here to protect and serve California consumers while ensuring a competent and fair marketplace. DCA helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. The Department also protects professionals from unfair competition by unlicensed practitioners.

City of Palmdale (CA)

Named one of the fastest-growing cities in America, the City of Palmdale has enjoyed tremendous growth and prosperity over the last decade. The more than 152,000 residents who call Palmdale home enjoy a pleasing quality of life in this family-oriented community

Colorado Attorney General

The Colorado Attorney General has primary authority for enforcement of consumer protection and antitrust laws, prosecution of criminal appeals and some complex white-collar crimes, the Statewide Grand Jury, training and certification of peace officers, and certain natural resource and environmental matters of the state.

The Consumer Protection Section protects Colorado consumers and businesses against fraud and maintains a competitive business environment by: enforcing state and federal consumer protection laws; enforcing state and federal antitrust laws; implementing and enforcing provisions of the tobacco master settlement agreements; enforcing state laws on consumer lending, predatory lending, debt collection, rent-to-own, and credit repair; and advocating on behalf of residential, small business, and agricultural public utility taxpayers.

The Consumer Protection Section is made up of four units:

    Antitrust, Tobacco & Consumer Protection

    Office of Consumer Fraud

    Office of Consumer Counsel

    Consumer Credit

The Consumer Fraud Unit’s primary focus is on the prevention of deception and misrepresentations in connection with the advertisement and sale of goods and services to individual and business consumers in Colorado. This is accomplished through the enforcement of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act, along with other consumer protection statutes.

The Attorney General represents the State of Colorado and investigates complaints alleging a pattern of unlawful and deceptive trade practices. Information from consumers allows us to identify and devote our resources to the most serious cases involving widespread injury to Colorado consumers. Any legal action we take is on behalf of the State of Colorado as we are prohibited in providing individual legal advice, interpretation, or individual legal representation.

Visit the Colorado Attorney General's Facebook page: 

Read the Colorado Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Bulletins.

 

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection

At the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, our mission is to ensure a fair and equitable marketplace, safe products and services for consumers in the industries that we license, regulate and enforce. We do this through licensing and regulating many types of businesses and workers, monitoring the marketplace, and protecting consumers and individuals doing business in the state of Connecticut.

The Department issues over 200,000 professional licenses, registrations, and permits annually for more than 200 types of jobs and businesses to ensure compliance with state laws and standards. We enforce federal and state laws, investigate consumer complaints and mediate disputes between consumers and businesses. The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act gives us broad authority over unfair business activity and offers the possibility of financial restitution for consumers who have been unfairly treated. For more information on the services our office provides, please visit our website at www.ct.gov/dcp.

Visit the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection's new outreach campaign website, SmartConsumer.ct.gov

Learn about the rights of Connecticut residents on topics from autos to lighting to toys.

Consumer Action

Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.

By providing consumer education materials in multiple languages, a free national hotline, a comprehensive website (www.consumer-action.org) and annual surveys of financial and consumer services, Consumer Action helps consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and make financially savvy choices. Nearly 7,500 community and grassroots organizations benefit annually from its extensive outreach programs, training materials and support.

Consumer Federation of America*

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of some 300 nonprofit consumer groups that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy at both national and state levels. CFA focuses on issues that directly affect consumers’ daily lives, including food and product safety, communications, energy, financial services, housing, insurance, privacy, and fraud.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Our mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products. We work to give consumers the information they need to understand the terms of their agreements with financial companies. We are working to make regulations and guidance as clear and streamlined as possible so providers of consumer financial products and services can follow the rules on their own.

Congress established the CFPB to protect consumers by carrying out federal consumer financial laws. Among other things, we:

  • Write rules, supervise companies, and enforce federal consumer financial protection laws
  • Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
  • Take consumer complaints
  • Promote financial education
  • Research consumer behavior
  • Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers
  • Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance
Consumers Union

The Consumers Union is the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports. Consumers Union works for telecommunications reform, health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues. Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications.

Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs

The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Department of Consumer Affairs was established in December 2012.  The Department of Consumer Affairs’  mission is to protect and educate residents of Cuyahoga County through the most effective and efficient inspection, investigation, mediation, and education programs  from deceptive selling and/or buying practices and from the misrepresentation of the price of a commodity or service. The Department consists of two Divisions: (1) Weights and Measures and (2) Consumer Protection.

 

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. We each have to do our part to keep the Internet safe. When we all take simple steps to be safer online, it makes using the Internet a more secure experience for everyone.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is an intelligence-driven national security and law enforcement organization that works to protect families, communities, and businesses from the most dangerous threats facing our nation. Combating significant white-collar frauds and cyber scams are among the FBI’s top investigative priorities, and the Bureau provides regular advice to consumers on how to protect themselves from emerging and traditional fraud schemes. Consumers can learn more by visiting the FBI’s Be Crime Smart website and specific webpages on white-collar frauds and new e-scams. If you have been a victim of fraud, please report it on the FBI’s Tips and Public Leads webpage.

Federal Citizen Information Center*

The Federal Citizen Information Center Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, U.S. General Services Administration (FCIC) is a one-stop source that provides government information and services directly to the public. FCIC offers information across various channels, including online, print, and phone. Their websites include USA.gov, the official portal to the government websites and resources; similar information can be found on the Spanish counterpart, GobiernoUSA.gov. The National Contact Center serves as a single point of contact for individuals with questions about Federal Agencies, programs and services, through 1-888-FED-INFO. FCIC also offers practical information and publications to help consumers make important life decisions; these publications are available for order or download through the Publications.USA.gov or the Consumer Information Catalog. FCIC also publishes both the Consumer Action Handbook and Guía del Consumidor (in Spanish), free publications to help consumers get the most for their money, avoid problems in the marketplace, and resolve difficulties.

Federal Communications Commission*

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency.  The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, telephone, wire, satellite and cable.  The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.  At the FCC, we’re committed to helping consumers through information sharing, complaint mediation, and regulatory policy.  We believe that consumers deserve clear, complete information to help them make the best choices in communications services.  The FCC’s Consumer Publications Library (http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/consumer-publications-library) provides you with information so you can get the best value from your telephone, television, and Internet service, file a complaint, or learn about consumer protection regulations.  In addition, the FCC provides information in large print, Braille, Spanish, and other languages upon request.  Consumers may file complaints online at http://www.fcc.gov/complaints  or by contacting the FCC toll-free at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), or 1-888-TELL-FCC (TTY) (1-888-835-5322).

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation*

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): Preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by identifying, monitoring and addressing risk to the deposit insurance fund; and by limiting the effect on the economy and the financial system when a bank or thrift institution fails. The FDIC maintains stability and public confidence in the U.S. financial system by examining and supervising financial institutions for safety and soundness; and for compliance with consumer protection laws. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has ever lost a single penny of FDIC-insured funds. The FDIC insures deposits in banks and thrift institutions for at least $250,000. The FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) is an interactive Internet application located on the FDIC’s website that calculates insurance coverage for one or more deposit accounts owned by a depositor. To access EDIE as well as FDIC’s free deposit insurance materials, visit www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits. To learn more about a variety of consumer issues, visit www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/.

Federal Reserve System*

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. Over the years, its role in banking and the economy has expanded. Today, the Federal Reserve's duties fall into four general areas: conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates; supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation's banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers; maintaining the ability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets; providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation's payments system"

Federal Trade Commission*

The Federal Trade Commission is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and provides information to help consumers identify and avoid fraud and deception. View and download free consumer information at consumer.ftc.gov, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or TDD (202) 326-2502. To order free materials for yourself or a group, go to www.ftc.gov/bulkorder. Consumers who have been the victim of fraud or deception may file a complaint with the FTC online www.ftc.gov/complaint, or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. Although the Commission cannot resolve individual disputes the information consumers provide can indicate a pattern of violations requiring action by the Commission.

FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the U.S. dedicated to investor education. Our mission is to  provide investors high-quality, accessible resources to better understand the markets and basic principles of saving and investing. SaveAndInvest.org, a FINRA Foundation website, offers easy-to-use tools and information to help investors make sound financial decisions and protect themselves from investment fraud.  

Florida Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division

The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General is the primary enforcement authority for violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Division protects consumers by investigating and, as necessary, litigating against individuals or entities employing deceptive and unfair trade practices or unfair methods of competition. In addition, the Division regularly joins forces with other states and the Federal Trade Commission to pursue unfair and deceptive trade practices that may adversely affect Florida.

Along with its authority to enforce the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Division also has the authority to pursue violations of the state’s civil RICO Act as well as the Florida False Claims Act.

The Division’s newly created CyberFraud Section investigates deceptive advertising on the Internet, and has had great success in changing advertising standards for that medium.

The Consumer Protection Division regularly handles hundreds of active civil cases. Since 2011, the Division resolved 287 investigations and generated $620 million in recoveries including $111 million in restitution to consumers excluding Florida’s share of the National Mortgage Settlement.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer assistance and information. The department is also responsible for regulating various industries that serve consumers.

The cornerstone of the department’s consumer services is the state’s consumer hotline, 1-800-HELP-FLA, 850-410-3800, or 1-800-FL-AYUDA, and website, www.800helpfla.com. Through direct contact with consumers, the department receives complaints about unfair and deceptive business practices and provides information to consumers about how to avoid falling victim to unlawful business practices. In some cases, the department will work with the consumer and the business involved to mediate and resolve the conflict. In other situations, the department will conduct investigations to determine whether or not the business is in violation of the law.

In addition, the department focuses on public education of consumer protection issues. Through brochures, newsletters and public presentations, the department works to raise awareness for consumer threats and helps consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing products and services and signing contracts.

Florida Public Service Commission

The Florida Public Service Commission is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive some of their most essential services — electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater — in a safe, reasonable, and reliable manner. In doing so, the PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in one or more of three key areas: rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.

Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection protects consumers and businesses from unlawful, deceptive and unfair practices in the marketplace. We do this by investigating alleged violations of consumer protection laws, taking action against businesses that violate these laws, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.

Visit the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Protection for an A-Z listing of articles on a variety of consumer topics

 

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs *

The State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs promotes a strong and healthy business environment by upholding fairness and public confidence in the marketplace, and by increasing knowledge and opportunity for our businesses and citizens in the State of Hawaii.

Hillsborough County (FL) Consumer Protection Agency

We are a Hillsborough County Agency dedicated to helping individuals resolve problems and become informed consumers.  We enforce consumer protection laws through investigation and mediation, develop and conduct consumer education programs, issue consumer alerts, and serve as a clearinghouse for consumer complaints.

Howard County (MD) Office of Consumer Affairs

The Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs provides consumer education and programs, mediates consumer disputes, licenses peddlers & solicitors and trespass tow companies operating in the County, and investigates and enforces the County Consumer Protection law.

Idaho Attorney General

The Idaho Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division enforces various consumer laws, including Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act, Competition Act, Telephone Solicitation Act, Pay-Per-Telephone Call Act and Charitable Solicitation Act. These laws protect consumers, businesses and the marketplace from unfair or deceptive acts and practices. The Attorney General seeks to fulfill this charge efficiently and economically through education, mediation and enforcement.

The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division also enforces and defends the state’s Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with the tobacco industry and has been delegated the duty of enforcing Idaho’s Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Act, Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Complementary Act and Prevention of Minors’ Access to Tobacco Act. The MSA and these acts seek to promote the public health and protect the fiscal soundness of the state.

Please visit the Idaho Attorney General's General Consumer Topics page for a comple list of resources available for Idaho residents.

Indiana Attorney General

The Indiana Attorney General's Office is dedicated to protecting consumers from deceptive and predatory business practices. It is also committed to educating consumers to make wise choices when buying products or entering into contracts. The office administers a number of programs designed to help Indiana citizens become savvy consumers. By state law, the office cannot act as an individual's private attorney or provide legal advice to citizens. However, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division mediates and investigates consumer complaints against businesses and other organizations and takes legal action on behalf of the state against individuals and companies that violate Indiana’s Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

 

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and one of the world's most efficient tax administrators. In fiscal year 2010, the IRS collected more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and processed more than 230 million tax returns.

Kansas Attorney General

The Office of the Attorney General is established by the Kansas Constitution. As the state's chief legal officer and top law enforcement official, the Attorney General performs a range of duties as prescribed by state law and legal precedents.

The office is organized into several divisions and units charged with performing these various functions. Among these divisions is the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the state's premier criminal investigative agency.

A Message from the Attorney General

We work hard to promote public safety, protect consumers and taxpayers, and provide quality legal services to our state and its agencies. On this website, you can find information about the other services we provide, such as concealed carry licenses and crime victims services. You can file a complaint, check out the list of Kansas’ most wanted criminals, or search the offender registry. You also can follow the latest news from the office.

I hope you will take time to browse our site. Thank you for the honor of serving as your Kansas Attorney General!

Best wishes,

Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General

 

Visit the Kansas Attorney General's NCPW 2013 Webpage!

Kentucky Attorney General, Office of Consumer Protection

The Kentucky Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection enforces the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act which protects Kentucky from  "unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts or practice in trade or commerce." The Office brings lawsuits in the public interest to obtain consumer redress and civil penalties in a range of matters including but not limited to automobile sales, telemarketing sales - including Do-Not- Call list violations, business opportunities, charitable solicitations, debt collection, truth in lending, privacy, recreation and retirement land sales, internet sales, pharmaceutical drugs and for-profit schools. The Office of Consumer Protection also serves as a clearinghouse for consumer complaints and helps resolve citizens' complaints involving consumer transactions. The Office also conducts educational programs to teach consumers, seniors and schoolchildren about their consumer rights, how to avoid being victimized by scam artists and how to be better consumers.

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 880 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups.

Los Angeles County (CA) Department of Consumer Affairs

The Los Angeles County (CA) Department of Consumer Affairs is one of the largest local consumer protection agencies in the nation. The department serves consumers, businesses, and communities through education, advocacy, and complaint resolution to promote a fair and vibrant marketplace. We educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities, investigate alleged violations of the law, and mediate less serious disputes between consumers and businesses.

For more information, visit our website at dca.lacounty.gov.

And be sure to visit the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs' NCPW website.

 

 

Louisiana Attorney General

The Louisiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section was created to protect Louisiana consumers from unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive business practices.  This Section helps Louisiana citizens by investigating and mediating consumer complaints, as well as educating the public about their consumer rights.  The Consumer Protection Section also protects consumers by filing civil actions on behalf of the State under Louisiana's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law when a business or individual has engaged in a pattern of unfair business practices.  For more information on the services our office provides, please contact our Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-351-4889 or visit http://www.agbuddycaldwell.com.

Massachusetts Attorney General

Throughout NCPW, staff from the Attorney General’s Boston office and regional offices, located in Springfield, Worcester and New Bedford, and Local Consumer Programs funded by the office, will present a series of presentations, informational workshops and information tables across the state to help consumers make more informed financial decisions, avoid becoming the victims of fraud, and better safeguard their finances.  Details for each event will be available on AG Coakley’s NCPW web page

Michigan Attorney General

The Michigan Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the state of Michigan. We protect Michigan families from unfair financial practices through our enforcement authority in the areas of consumer protection, antitrust, corporate oversight, charitable organizations, and health care fraud.  We offer services to protect the most vulnerable citizens among us, including children, the elderly, victims of crime and those who are preyed upon by greed in its many forms: unfair, illegal or shady business practices, criminal conduct, abuse of power and public corruption. We identify parents who have the ability to pay support to their children but refuse to do so. Through child support prosecution and collection actions we’ve collected over $154 million, directly impacting the lives of over 12,500 children.  We also offer special programing that trains citizen to spot fraud and scams, and we teach school children how to be safe online and respond appropriately to bullying.

Mississippi Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division

The Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office strives to ensure that Mississippi victims do not fall prey to unscrupulous business practices and scams. Each year, this office takes thousands of calls and mediates hundreds of cases of consumer fraud and unfair practices. The Attorney General’s office also works to educate Mississippians to prevent them from becoming victims of these crimes. 

Montgomery County (MD) Office of Consumer Protection

The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is the Montgomery County agency responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive business acts to ensure a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses. The office was established in 1971.  In addition to investigating thousands of consumer complaints each year, OCP provides education and outreach programs to the community, licenses motor vehicle repair facilities, towing companies, new home builders, appliance repair firms, and pawn & consignment shops, and provides advocacy in legislative and energy & environmental matters.

Montgomery County (MD) Consumer News and Alerts- Stay informed with the latest through Mongtomery County’s eSubscription.

Read and download information on a variety of consumer education topics from Montgomery County's consumer protection agency.

 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Founded in 1909, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans. The principal objectives of the NAACP include:

To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States

To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights

To inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination

To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.

National Association of Attorneys General*

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) counts among its members the Attorneys General of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and the chief legal officers of the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Attorneys General are the chief legal officers in their respective states and serve as counselors for state government agencies and the legislature and as representatives of the public interest. It is often said that Attorneys General occupy the intersection of law and public policy, dealing in areas as diverse as consumer protection, drug policy, and environmental protection. Through NAAG, Attorneys General are drawn together to work collectively on legal and public policy issues of common concern.

National Association of Consumer Advocates

National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) is a non-profit association of attorneys and consumer advocates committed to representing customers’ interests. Our members are private and public sector attorneys, legal services attorneys, law professors and law students whose primary focus is the protection and representation of consumers. NACA also has a charitable and educational fund incorporated under §501 (c) (3).

NACA's mission shall be to promote justice for all consumers by maintaining a forum for communication, networking, and information sharing among consumer advocates across the country, particularly regarding legal issues, and by serving as a voice for its members and consumers in the ongoing struggle to curb unfair or abusive business practices that affect consumers.

NACA is an organization of more than 1500 attorneys who represent and have represented hundreds of thousands of consumers victimized by fraudulent, abusive, and predatory business practices. As a national organization fully committed to promoting justice for consumers, NACA’s members and their clients are actively engaged in promoting a fair and open marketplace that forcefully protects the rights of consumers, particularly those of modest means.

NACA's Key Issues

  • Forced Arbitration
  • Predatory Lending Practicing
  • Financial Regulatory Reform
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Debt Collection Abuse
  • Auto Fraud
  • Payday Lending
  • Fair Credit Reporting
  • Identity Theft
  • Military Consumer Rights
  • Domestic Violence Consumer Rights
  • Preemption
National Consumers League*

The National Consumers League (NCL), founded in 1899, is America’s oldest consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL offers educational materials on a wide variety of subjects. Among the programs that NCL operates is LifeSmarts, a consumer knowledge contest for teenagers, and the Fraud Center, which provides advice to consumers about telemarketing and Internet fraud and relays information from consumers about suspected scams to law enforcement agencies. Among the programs that NCL operates is LifeSmarts, a consumer knowledge contest for teenagers, and Fraud.org, which provides advice to consumers about telemarketing and Internet fraud and relays information from consumers about suspected scams to law enforcement agencies. NCL also maintains a blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

National Council of La Raza

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas – assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families. Founded in 1968, NCLR is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCLR serves all Hispanic subgroups in all regions of the country and has regional offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

 

National Credit Union Administration

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of nearly 96 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions.                                           

MyCreditUnion.gov is the official financial consumer protection website of NCUA. This free consumer website, and its financial literacy resource Pocket Cents, offers a variety of educational information and personal finance articles designed to help individuals make smarter financial decisions and better choices with their money. Individuals can learn about saving, borrowing and managing credit, as well as how to get a free credit report each year and how to protect themselves from financial scams. The website also explains how credit unions work, where to find a credit union to join, and even how to start a credit union. MyCreditUnion.gov also provides important information for resolving credit union member complaints through NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center.

Interactive tools and resources are available through MyCreditUnion.gov and Pocket Cents. Consumers can use NCUA’s CU Locator tool to research and locate a credit union. They can also estimate their share insurance coverage with the NCUA Share Insurance Estimator. Pocket Cents also features the interactive personal finance game called “Hit the Road,” that teaches young people the value of saving and budgeting. Also, users can explore the currencies of the world with the interactive Foreign Currency Map on Pocket Cents.

Consumers and credit unions can stay up-to-date on the latest news and information from NCUA by following us on YouTubeFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance is a public-private non-profit. Our mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets.

National Futures Association*

National Futures Association (NFA), a congressionally authorized self-regulatory organization, is the premier independent provider of innovative and efficient regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the futures markets. National Futures Association provides innovative regulatory programs and services that ensure futures industry integrity, protect market participants and help its Members meet their regulatory responsibilities.

National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, there are more than 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

NeighborWorks® America*

NeighborWorks® America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated $20 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks® America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

New Hampshire Office of Consumer Advocate

The New Hampshire Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) is an independent state agency with statutory responsibility to represent residential customers of New Hampshire’s regulated public utilities that provide electric, natural gas, telephone or water services. The OCA primarily fulfills this responsibility by participating in proceedings before the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Guided by New Hampshire law, the OCA advocates for reasonably-priced, safe and reliable utility services, as well as for well-designed and prudently-administered ratepayer funded programs.

Within the context of PUC proceedings, the OCA represents the collective interests of residential customers rather than individual customer interests.  On account of our agency’s name, the OCA occasionally receives individual customer complaints and inquiries, and it typically refers these to PUC’s Consumer Affairs Division, which is staffed with industry-specific analysts tasked with mediating customer-utility disputes.   With a focus on the collective good of residential customers, the OCA directs its limited resources on proceedings that may have significant financial or service-related impacts.

New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection

The New York State Department of State, one of the oldest and most diverse agencies in state government, works to make New York a more welcoming, equitable, and prosperous place for all who call it home. By the broad nature of its work, the NY Department of State touches the lives of nearly every person living and working in the Empire State. One of several divisions within the Department, the Division of Consumer Protection is responsible for advocating on behalf of consumers in utility rate making proceedings; delivering educational presentations; disseminating product recall and scam alerts; and, creating public and private partnerships to advance consumer protection information on issues relating to identity theft prevention and mitigation, scam prevention and financial literacy.

North American Securities Administrators Association*

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), organized in 1919, is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA is a voluntary association with a membership consisting of securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico. As the preeminent organization of securities regulators, NASAA is committed to protecting investors from fraud and abuse, educating investors, supporting capital formation, and helping ensure the integrity and efficiency of financial markets. NASAA represents and serves its members through advocacy, education, subject matter expertise, communication, and coordination. NASAA members license firms and their agents, investigate violations of state and provincial law, file enforcement actions when appropriate, and educate the public about investment fraud. NASAA has a long history of advocating for federal and state legislation, rule making, and coordinated enforcement actions that advance the goal of protecting investors. For more information, visit www.nasaa.org.

North Carolina Attorney General

As head of the North Carolina Department of Justice, the Attorney General provides legal representation and advice to all state government departments, agencies and commissions. The Attorney General also provides legal opinions at the request of other public officials and handles all criminal appeals from state trial courts. When the state's public interests are at stake, the Attorney General can take legal action on behalf of North Carolina's citizens. The Attorney General also heads the State Bureau of Investigation, which provides expert analysis of crime scene evidence and helps local law enforcement investigate crimes. The North Carolina Justice Academy, also a part of the DOJ, provides training and technical assistance for law enforcement agencies. Commissions staffed by DOJ employees oversee law enforcement training and standards.

Attorney General Roy Cooper's Consumer Protection experts protect North Carolina consumers. We fight unfair business practices like scams and frauds. We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of consumers like you get more than $95 million of your money back, and have helped win $250 million in savings on your utility rates.    

 

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency*

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) was created by Congress to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks. On July 21, 2011, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) became part of the OCC, and the OCC assumed regulation of federal savings associations (or “thrifts”). The OCC also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC ensures a stable and competitive national banking system by working toward four objectives:

To ensure the safety and soundness of banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks).
To foster competition by allowing banks to offer new products and services.
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OCC supervision, including reducing regulatory burden.
To ensure fair and equal access to financial services for all Americans.

The OCC’s nationwide staff of examiners conduct on-site reviews of national banks and federal savings associations, and provide sustained supervision of bank operations. The agency issues rules, legal interpretations, and corporate decisions concerning banking, bank investments, bank community development activities, and other aspects of bank operations. National bank and federal savings association examiners supervise domestic and international activities of banks and federal savings associations, perform corporate analyses, and evaluate bank and federal savings association management’s ability to identify and control risk.

Ohio Attorney General

By law, the Attorney General is the chief law officer for the state of Ohio. We protect Ohio families from predatory financial practices through our enforcement authority in the areas of consumer protection, antitrust, charitable organizations, and health care fraud.

We support the important work of local law enforcement agencies by training officers at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. Experts at our Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation analyze DNA, fingerprints, and other evidence. The Organized Crime Investigations Commission and the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway provide additional resources to crack complex cases. We directly enforce Ohio's environmental laws.By advocating Ohio's strong open government laws, we promote accountability, providing ongoing training in public records and open meetings. Our Internal Audit division has unfettered access to ensure that our own policies and procedures are followed properly, so the spotlight of inquiry is also upon us at all times.We offer services to protect the most vulnerable citizens among us, including children, the elderly, victims of crime and those who are preyed upon by greed in its many forms: unfair, illegal or shady business practices, criminal conduct and abuse of power and corruption. We have many programs to support veterans, active duty military, and their families. 

 

Operation HOPE, Inc.

Operation HOPE is a global nonprofit social investment banking and financial dignity empowerment organization. Through several global initiatives and three principal financial literacy programs: Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (financial emergency preparedness and disaster financial recovery), and the HOPE Financial Dignity Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), HOPE is leading the “silver rights” movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities.

Orange County (FL) Consumer Fraud Unit

The Orange County (FL) Consumer Fraud Unit assigned to the State Attorney’s Office in Orlando, offers mediation of consumer complaints, criminal investigations to complaints in violation of Florida statutes and consumer education. During Times of Need, the office operates Emergency Support Function 18 (Business/ Community) at the Orange Emergency Operations Center.

Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services

Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services works to protect consumers in the marketplace and business community against economic losses resulting from unethical or illegal business practices and find solutions that restore fairness and ensure legal compliance.  Our investigators provide assistance for the resolution of consumer-business disputes; investigate possible violations of consumer protection laws; regulate and enforce certain county ordinances and provide consumer education through community events & presentations.  

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) is a nationally recognized consumer education and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to protecting the privacy of American consumers. Based in San Diego, California, the PRC invites consumers to voice their complaints and helps them obtain information about privacy matters. Since 1992, the PRC has researched and written more than 70 consumer guides that offer practical tips on safeguarding your personal privacy. The PRC also publishes monthly alerts on trending privacy topics.

Rhode Island Attorney General

The Attorney General is the top legal official in Rhode Island. As the state’s top prosecutor, the Attorney General fights to enhance the economic security of Rhode Island, protect the public safety of our communities and restore the public trust in state government by taking on corruption. As the central legal agency of the state, the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for prosecution of all felony criminal cases and misdemeanor appeals, as well as prosecution of misdemeanor cases brought by state law enforcement action in the various district courts. Additionally, as chief legal officer of the state, the Attorney General represents all agencies, departments and commissions in litigation and initiates legal action where necessary to protect the interests of Rhode Island citizens. The Office of the Attorney General is also charged with operating and maintaining the State Bureau of Criminal Identification, which is the central repository for all criminal records in the state. The Office is divided into three distinct divisions: Criminal, Civil and Administration; and four budget programs: Criminal, Civil, General, and the Bureau of Criminal Identification.

About the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit

The Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit investigates and mediates consumer complaints concerning unfair and unlawful business practices and misleading advertising arising out of alleged violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If groups of people are victimized by a deceptive trade practice, this office may file in the Superior Court a civil investigative demand, which is a formal investigation. In appropriate cases, a lawsuit to stop the illegal business practice may be initiated.

Apart from carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the Unit also provides information and referral services to the general public. Consumers are directed to the appropriate governmental or private agencies for help in answering specialized questions or resolving disputes that are not within the Unit's jurisdiction.

The Consumer Protection Unit is available to speak to community groups on how to prevent being a victim of identity theft and other scams.

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs

Established in 1974 by the Consumer Protection Code (Code), Sections 37-1-101 et seq., the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA or Department) is the state consumer protection agency.  SCDCA is the administrator and enforcer of the Code, as well as other regulatory statutes outside the Code.  In this capacity, the Department helps to formulate and modify consumer laws, policies and regulations; regulates the consumer credit marketplace; resolves complaints arising out of the production, promotion or sale of consumer goods or services in South Carolina, whether or not credit is involved; and promotes a healthy competitive business climate with mutual confidence between buyers and sellers.  Overall, the agency protects consumers while giving due regard to those businesses acting in a fair and honest manner.

Organization

The Department is governed by the Commission on Consumer Affairs who appoints the Administrator. Carri Grube Lybarker serves as SCDCA's current Administrator.  The Administrator also receives assistance from the Council of Advisors on Consumer Credit.

SCDCA is organized into five divisions: Administration, Consumer Services, Consumer Advocacy, Public Information and Education and the Legal Division.

Recent Accomplishments

Over the last 3 fiscal years, SCDCA saved consumers and businesses approximately $39 million. Almost $7.7 million stemmed from SCDCA's complaint mediation and enforcement programs while the remaining $31 million resulted from the agency's intervention in insurance rate filings.

Other highlights from 2008-2011 include:

  • processing over 71,000 licensing/ registration applications and filings for regulated businesses,
  • handling more than 17, 000 complaints
  • reviewing nearly 3,000 insurance filings,
  • conducting 1,500 compliance reviews and inspections of regulated businesses.
  • posting 18 videos on YouTube garnering more than 70,000 views.
Summit County (OH) Office of Consumer Affairs

The mission of the office is to educate and protect the citizens of Summit County and those visitors to the county from unfair, deceptive or unconscionable consumer sales practices. We enforce consumer protection laws through education, complaint mediation and investigation. The office works with local, county, state and federal agencies, non-profit and community based organizations along with local business leaders to ensure an honest, safe and informed marketplace. The office is committed to consumer education through consumer alerts and presentations to civic, church, school, community, and business groups. In addition, we offer consumer tips covering a wide variety of topics including home improvements, repairs, automotive, online shopping, prizes, etc.

Tennessee Attorney General

The Tennessee Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the State.  The role of the Attorney General and his staff is to help each part of state government—executive, legislative, and judicial—fulfill their respective functions. The Office contains 17 divisions charged with many different duties.

The Consumer Advocate and Protection Division protects consumers and business from unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Consumer Protection Division also enforces Tennessee’s Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Statute and the state and federal antitrust laws. Actions may be brought on behalf of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and in the name of the State of Tennessee. 

The office often pursues cases based on complaints received from consumers. The Attorney General encourages consumers to report any business practice they believe is unfair or deceptive to (DCA) in the Department of Commerce and Insurance. DCA serves as the central coordinating agency and clearinghouse for consumer complaints regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices.For more information on how the Tennessee Attorney General is working to protect consumers or for information on how to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs, visit our website at: www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. USCIS aims to secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. Our free email alert service allows you to receive important USCIS news and information as soon as it's available. Visit our website to sign up. USCIS wants to combat immigration services scams by equipping applicants, legal service providers and community-based organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices. To accomplish this goal, USCIS launched the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL) Initiative. As part of the effort, we've partnered with several government agencies to identify resources that can help you avoid immigration services scams. To learn more, please visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams.

 

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years. Report incidents involving consumer products to CPSC or search for incidents at our new public database, www.saferproducts.gov.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.

U.S. Department of State

The mission of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) is to protect the lives and interests of U.S, citizens abroad and to strengthen the security of United States borders through the vigilant adjudication of visas and passports. We share information about international financial scams that may target U.S.  citizens; develop resources and tools to prevent and disrupt passport, visa, and other types of consular fraud; and cooperate with other federal agencies engaged in fraud prevention.  Our vision is to help U.S. citizens engage the world. We issue the travel documents that allow U.S. citizen to travel the globe and issues visas, so that lawful immigrants and visitors can travel to the United States.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration assures the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products and medical devices and assures the safety and security of the nation’s food supply, cosmetics and products that emit radiation. FDA which is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, advances the public health by helping to speed innovations to market that make medicines and food more effective, safer and more affordable and assisting the public in getting the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health. The FDA works to protect the public from health fraud scams. For information in English and Spanish on how to spot health fraud scams visit: www.fda.gov/healthfraud. Consumers can report a problem with an FDA regulated product online at www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides a variety of services and tools to address the problems and questions you may face as an investor. We cannot tell you what investments to make, but we can help you to invest wisely and avoid fraud.

U.S. Social Security Administration

The mission of the U.S. Social Security Administration is to deliver Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the American public. Today, about 159 million people work and pay Social Security taxes and about 56 million people receive monthly Social Security benefits. We deliver services through a nationwide network of over 1,400 offices that include regional offices, field offices, card centers, teleservice centers, processing centers, hearing offices, the Appeals Council, and our State and territorial partners, the Disability Determination Services. We also have a presence in U.S. embassies around the globe. Our website, socialsecurity.gov, is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security's programs. At our website, you can apply for Retirement, Disability, Medicare and so much more.

United States Department of Justice, Civil Division

The Civil Division represents the United States in any civil or criminal matter within its scope of responsibility – protecting the United States Treasury, ensuring that the federal government speaks with one voice in its view of the law, preserving the intent of Congress, and advancing the credibility of the government before the courts.  In its affirmative litigation, the Division brings suits on behalf of the United States, primarily to recoup money lost through fraud, loan defaults, and the abuse of federal funds.  Annually, hundreds of millions – and often billions – of dollars are returned to the treasury, Medicare, and other programs as a result of the Civil Division’s litigation efforts.  Within the Civil Division, the Consumer Protection Branch works to protect the health, safety, and economic security of American consumers through criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement actions.

United States Postal Inspection Service*

The United States Postal Inspection Service, founded by Benjamin Franklin, is one of our country’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies. Postal Inspectors have a long, proud, and successful history of fighting criminals who attack our nation’s postal system and misuse it to defraud, endanger, or otherwise threaten the American public. The Postal Inspection Service enforces more than 200 federal laws related to crime that adversely affects or fraudulently uses the U.S. Mail and postal system. Learn more at postalinspectors.uspis.gov or visit “Postal Inspectors: The Silent Service,” a special exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, also available online.

United States Postal Service

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

US Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) assures the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families. EBSA accomplishes this mission by developing effective regulations; assisting and educating workers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and service providers; and vigorously enforcing the law.

EBSA is the federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which provides a number of rights and protections for private-sector retirement and health plan participants and their beneficiaries. If you have health coverage through a private sector employer plan, you have probably heard of some other laws to protect these benefits for you and your family - such as COBRA, HIPAA and more recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Affordable Care Act).  EBSA administers these laws as well.  Have you been wondering how the Affordable Care Act will affect your health plan and you? Have you had questions about your own plan? It is important to know your benefit rights so that you can make informed decisions when necessary to keep or get health coverage. It is also important to know where you can go for help if you have questions about your rights or your benefit plan.

EBSA enforces the law by informally resolving benefit disputes, conducting investigations, and seeking correction of violations of the law, including bringing lawsuits when necessary.

EBSA has Benefits Advisors committed to providing individual assistance to participants and beneficiaries. Participants will receive information on their rights and responsibilities under the law and help in obtaining benefits to which they are entitled.

Washington State Attorney General

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division enforces Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (RCW 19.86) to help protect consumers and businesses from bad actors in the marketplace. The division:

  • Investigates and files legal actions to stop unfair and deceptive practices;
  • Recovers refunds for consumers;  and
  • Imposes penalties on offending businesses and recovers attorneys’ fees and costs.

It also:

  • Facilitates the informal resolution of consumer problems by notifying businesses of written complaints and informally mediating them;
  • Provides information and education to businesses and to the public on consumer rights and issues;
  • Participates in legislative activity affecting the division each year; and
  • Sends out alerts and news releases when consumers or businesses are targets of fraudulent or predatory activities.

The division is also responsible for the administration of Washington’s Lemon Law for new motor vehicle warranty enforcement. The services include arbitration to resolve consumer and manufacturer warranty disputes, consumer and industry education and enforcement of manufacturer and dealer obligations.

Learn about the latest scams on our Scam Alert Page.

Follow the latest scams on Twitter: #AGOScamAlert

Read our All Consuming blog.

Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is the state’s primary consumer protection agency.  The Bureau of Consumer Protection has broad authority to regulate unfair business practices, helping to protect millions of Wisconsin consumers every day.  We return $5-10 million to consumers each year and work with the state’s Department of Justice and district attorneys to prosecute serious law violators.  The Bureau handles around 150,000 new consumer complaints and inquiries annually and provides information on a wide range of consumer topics through the DATCP website and the state’s Consumer Information Hotline.  The Bureau administers the state’s weights and measures program and runs the Office of Privacy Protection to help consumers avoid or recover from identity theft.  We also administer Wisconsin’s hugely popular telemarketing “No Call” List, which currently has more than two million residential and cell phone numbers registered. 

Read or print fact sheets about consumer protection topics in English, Spanish, and Hmong from The Wisconsin DATCP.  Get helpful hints and answers to frequently asked questions.