The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recovered more than $148,000 for Florida consumers during the month of December, bringing the total to more than $2.6 million for consumers in 2017. The department recovered consumers’ money from moving companies, vehicle repair shops, pawn shops, health studios, telemarketers, sellers of travel and more.
During December 2017, the department:
- Recovered $148,444 on behalf of Florida consumers;
- Received 2,507 complaints;
- Initiated 150 investigations;
- Arrested 19 individuals;
- Provided assistance to 16,882 consumers through the 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline, online chats and emails; and
- Added 11,744 telephone numbers to Florida’s Do Not Call List.
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.