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Consumer Fraud Unit Protects Against Scams


From the Orange County Government Website



This week marks the 18th annual National Consumer Protection Week, which is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.

There are more than 100 nationwide and statewide agencies, including the Orange County Consumer Fraud Office, that work with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to shut down scams, give consumers a better way to report and recover from identity theft, and expose and stop misleading business practices.

Orange County’s Consumer Fraud Office investigates consumer complaints and works to resolve them through mediation. The Consumer Fraud Unit can also issue citations, refer the complaint to other appropriate agencies and even press criminal charges against the egregious party. If the fraud occurred in Orange County during the past two years, the Consumer Fraud Unit will investigate and determine the best course of action.

“Florida overall has a large number of transients and Central Florida is particularly transient, which makes the environment perfect for scam artists to prosper,” said Orange County Consumer Fraud Office Administrator Carlos Morales. “Millions of tourists come to our region every year, and predators see this as a golden opportunity. Families on vacation tend to let their guards down because they are here to have fun.”

According to the FTC, Florida is ranked No. 1 for fraud and No. 3 for identify theft consumer complaints in the nation.

Morales cited several top complaint categories locally, including real estate, merchandise sales, home improvement, consumer services, advance fees, auto sales, travel service, car rental agencies, non-consent towing and landlord versus tenant mobile home issues.


Morales added that the Internet has added more opportunities for fraud. Fancy websites and compelling offers on Craigslist may easily entice people into a trap. The good news is that Morales’ office is here to help local consumers who are victims of fraud.

“There are many ways to get conned in today’s day and age, so you have to be vigilant when entering into any type of contract or service agreement with others,” Morales said.


For more information on the Orange County’s Consumer Fraud Office and how you can protect yourself from fraud, go to the Orange County Government website, call (407) 836-2490 or email fraudhelp@sao9.org.

To read the full article, go here.

Fraud, Orange County, Orange County Cosumer Fraud, Scams


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