Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Recovers $230,000 for Consumers

By  //  September 13, 2017

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Provided assistance to 22,183 consumers

ABOVE VIDEOOne thing we’ve learned at the Federal Trade Commission is that scams often follow the news – especially when there’s a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey or Irma, in the headlines.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recovered nearly $230,000 for Florida consumers during the month of August.

Last year, the department recovered nearly $3 million for Florida consumers from moving companies, vehicle repair shops, pawn shops, health studios, telemarketers, sellers of travel and more.

During August 2017, the department:

• Recovered $228,112 on behalf of Florida consumers;
• Received 4,360 complaints;
• Initiated 336 investigations;
• Arrested 24 individuals;
• Provided assistance to 22,183 consumers through the 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline, online chats and emails; and
Added 21,817 telephone numbers to Florida’s Do Not Call List.

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As the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, the department educates the public, investigates complaints and provides mediation on behalf of consumers.

The department’s call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview, provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency.

Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832). For consumer protection information and resources, visit FloridaConsumerHelp.com.

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