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Consumer Protection

In these tough economic times, we know that every dollar you spend is precious. The Government of the District of Columbia wants to be sure you are getting exactly what you pay for. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General are aggressively pursuing businesses trying to make a quick buck at the expense of District residents.

Here residents and visitors of the District can get consumer protection information, find links to other helpful offices and information, file a complaint, provide anonymous tips or research businesses. We want to hear from you.

Know the Signs of Health Insurance Exchange Fraud

Police Impersonator Phone Scam

Featured Initiatives:

“Hire Licensed!”

To operate in the District of Columbia, a business has to have a license. Home improvement contractors, electricians, plumbers, interior decorators, and many other professionals hired by District residents every day are all among a number of professions requiring specific licenses to do business. To protect yourself from fraud, always ask for proof of licensure before signing on the dotted line. Always “Hire Licensed.”

Not sure about a license? Just visit here to review lists of licensees of the professions regulated by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Be aware that there are other agencies in the District that license certain other businesses, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for here, be sure to check for licensing rules of other agencies, including the District Department of Health (DOH), ABRA, and others, just to name a few.

“Too Good to be True: Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams”

Have you gotten a phone call or letter claiming you’ve won a prize, or a large sum of money? Did the caller or letter instruct you to pay anything up front before receiving your “winnings”? If so, this is fraud. Don’t be fooled, protect yourself by following a few simple rules:

1) Never send money. If they ask for money up front, it is fraud.

2) Hang up. These scammers are very sophisticated, very clever, and very dangerous. Don’t even give them the chance to convince you. If it feels wrong, or too good to be true, just hang up.

3) Never send private information. If a letter says you need to send bank account information, or a social security number, throw it out, because it is fraud. And finally,

4) Contact the authorities. These operations are difficult to track down and stop, but the more information the authorities have, the better chance they have at catching the perpetrators. If you have any questions or concerns, or to report an incident, please contact your local FBI office.

Submit a Complaint

Have a complaint about a business?  Didn't get what you paid for?  Have concerns or information about a business or potential bad actor?  We want to hear from you.  Fill out this form.  Please fill out all required fields, and be as specific as possible.  You may submit a complaint anonymously, however please note that it may hinder our ability to investigate a specific complaint without contact information for the complainant.  If you have any other questions, contact us on our DCRA Consumer Protection Hotline by dialing (202) 442-4400, pressing '6' for Consumer Protection, or emailing us at noreply.consumerprotection@dc.gov

For more information visit consumer.dc.gov

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