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~ herring The Enhanced Consumer Protection Operation returned hundreds of millions to consumers and taxpayers, cracked down on abusive, deceptive, predatory and illegal business practices ~
RICHMOND -As National Consumer Protection Week begin, attorney general Mark R. Herring highlights the available resources thanks to its Consumer Protection Section to protect Virginians from exploitation through abusive, deceptive, predatory or illegal business practices. Since 2014, Attorney General herring Consumer Protection Section recovered approximately $ 356 million in relief for consumers and offender payments. The Section also transferred over $ 59 million to the Commonwealth General Fund. Following a major reorganization and improvement in 2016, the consumer protection section of the BVG has been even more effective in the fight for the rights of Virginians.
“I am incredibly proud of the work my consumer protection section has done and continues to do to return the millions of dollars consumers in Virginia have lost to shady debt collectors, predatory lenders and money. other bad actors who try to get around the law. ” noted Attorney General herring. “As Attorney General, one of my top priorities will always be to ensure that consumers in Virginia have all the information and tools they need to make informed decisions and protect themselves.”
The Attorney General of Virginia has important responsibilities to consumers as the lead investigator and executor of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. In 2016, the Attorney General herring completed a major restructuring and expansion of its Consumer Protection Section to ensure it aggressively enforces Virginia consumer protection laws, provides exceptional customer service in resolving complaints and disputes, and provides solid consumer education to prevent Virginians from falling victim to fraud, fraud or illegal or abusive business practices.
Virginians who have a question, concern or complaint about a consumer case should contact the Attorney General herring Consumer Protection Section:
The BVG Consumer Protection Section is organized into five units and an investigative team that work together to protect the interests of Virginia consumers:
Dispute Resolution Unit, which provides dispute resolution services to individuals and businesses to help them resolve consumer complaints. The Dispute Resolution Unit can serve as a neutral facilitator and point of contact between consumers and businesses, as all parties voluntarily work towards a mutually acceptable outcome. Since 2014, investigators from the Dispute Resolution Unit and Section have resolved or closed approximately 25,000 consumer complaints and recovered more than $ 7 million for consumers.
Advice, reception and guidance unit, which serves as the central clearinghouse in Virginia for the receipt, assessment, and referral of consumer complaints, and operates the state’s consumer protection hotline. Since 2014, the Counseling, Reception and Referral Unit has received more than 190,000 calls via the Consumer Complaints Hotline and has received approximately 29,000 written consumer complaints and approximately 22,500 e -mails and letters.
Predatory loan unit, which is a one-of-a-kind unit to investigate and prosecute alleged violations of state and federal consumer lending laws, including laws regarding payday loans, title loans, consumer credit loans , student loans, mortgages, etc.
Charitable Solicitation and Deceptive Conduct Unit, which investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (“VCPA”), the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions, and other federal and state consumer protection laws.
Antitrust Unit, which investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of state and federal antitrust laws, including large mergers that could harm consumers due to reduced competition and choice.
The reorganization also included the creation of a user-friendly website and one more useful database of consumer complaints which allows users to verify businesses by searching for company name, industry or subject of complaint in a specified geographic area. Search results now include the date of the complaint filed, the nature of the complaint, and a description of the resolution, if available.
Below are the top ten complaints that the Attorney General herring Consumer Protection Section received in 2020:
- Automotive sales
- Credit, loans and debt collection
- Internet sales and services
- Home improvement, service and repair
- Guarantees and discounts
- Auto maintenance and repair
- Direct sales and scams
- Retail stores
- Medical / health professions
- Gouging price
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