Every state has a consumer protection agency, and many cities and counties have similar agencies. Consumer protection agencies are a valuable resource to consumers. They perform all kinds of functions, including:
- educating consumers about their rights
- publishing pamphlets explaining state consumer protection laws
- publishing tip sheets with advice on how to avoid scams
- maintaining consumer complaint phone lines
- conducting investigations into consumer and financial scams
- enforcing consumer protection laws
- bringing civil lawsuits to stop scammers
- prosecuting scammers under criminal laws, and
- licensing and regulating various professions such as real estate brokers or insurance agents.
To find the consumer protection office in your state, county or city, visit the federal consumer action website, a publication of the Federal Citizen Information Center, at http://consumeraction.gov/ (click on "Where to File a Complaint" and "State Offices").
For more information on consumer protection issues, get Nolo's Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, by Shae Irving and the editors of Nolo.