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Who You Gonna Call? Ohio Set to Answer Small Business Complaints about Scams, Fraud and Rip-offs.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Posted by Rosemary Hambright - Has your small business ever been ripped off or conned?

Scams pose an unfortunate but real threat for small businesses.  Misleading telephone book ads, deceitful websites and other types of fraud can cost the self-employed dearly.  Last July, the Office of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray developed a complaint resolution program to help small businesses and NPOs in Ohio recover funds lost to deception.  In the year since its inception, the initiative has rescued upwards of $115,000 with an average of $1,500 per small business.

If you’re based in Ohio and are the victim of unauthorized charges, poor workmanship or any other scam, go to http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/business or call (800) 282-0515 to make your report.  The Office of Attorney General Richard Cordray will attempt to reach an informal resolution on your behalf.  Legal action may follow if the supplier remains unresponsive or proves to have a continuous history of illegal activity.

For more information on filing a complaint, visit http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/business.  To learn more about the history of the program and Attorney General Richard Cordray’s stance on the importance of small business, go to http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Briefing-Room/News-Releases/July-2010/Ohio-Small-Businesses-Turn-to-Cordray-for-Assi-%281%29.

Not from Ohio?

Find your Attorney General’s website or telephone number through your state’s homepage or a search engine.   Once you’re on the Attorney General’s page, use their search bar to look for “complaint” or “fraud and scams” to find advice on protecting yourself from fraud and resolving disputes.  Don’t see anything for small businesses?  Submit a consumer report anyway!  Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire your Attorney General’s office to implement a program catered to small businesses similar to the one in Ohio!

Consumer complaint information for a few more states:

California http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php
Florida http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/consumers.html
New York http://www.ag.ny.gov/bureaus/consumer_frauds/filing_a_consumer_complaint.html
Texas http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml 
Virginia

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