The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recovered nearly $135,000 for Florida consumers during the month of September. 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 September 2017, the department:
- Extended call center hours of operation in response to Hurricane Irma;
- Recovered $134,640 on behalf of Florida consumers;
- Received 2,403 complaints;
- Initiated 177 investigations;
- Arrested 10 individuals;
- Provided assistance to 18,740 consumers through the 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline, online chats and emails; and
- Added 16,926 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.