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Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection

Attorney General Dana Nessel is committed to protecting and serving the people and interests of Michigan through a broad range of initiatives which include protecting against Elder Abuse, Human Trafficking, Robocalls, Hate Crimes, Identity Theft, Payroll Fraud, and more. 

The Consumer Protection team helps protect Michigan residents from bad actors who have one primary goal: to trick us out of our hard-earned money. As technology advances, they get more creative with their approach. They prey on anyone vulnerable - especially seniors. 

Consumer Protection handles 10,000 consumer complaints each year, provides numerous educational resources online, and issues consumer alerts on scams, data breaches and any other consumer-related issue our residents should be aware of.

mobile phone showing scam alert warning

Consumer Alerts

Payment Apps P2P

Within the last thirty days, the Department of Attorney General has received numerous complaints of scams involving payment apps such as: Zelle, Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal.

Many consumers use these payment apps to easily and conveniently pay others. Unfortunately, scammers have adapted their tactics to take advantage of the quick, and often anonymous, access to cash that they provide. 

View All Consumer Alerts

Consumer Alerts Most Frequently Viewed

Drop-shipping

Drop-Shipping

It’s a fast-growing trend of online middlemen who keep the difference between the wholesale and retail price and cost you extra money. And while drop-shipping is not illegal, there is a lot of room for problems and abuse for buyers and sellers.

Drop-Shipping: What You Need to Know Before You Buy or Sell Online
Person holding a scanner against a bag of chips to get the price.

Scanner Law

The Shopping Reform and Modernization Act ("Scanner Law"), became effective September 1, 2011. This legislation replaces the former Pricing and Advertising of Consumer Items Act ("Item Pricing Act"). 

Michigan's Scanner Law
Frustrated African-American male standing next to a car with it's hood open with problems.

Lemon Law

The Lemon Law applies to passenger vehicles, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans that are purchased or leased in Michigan or purchased or leased by a Michigan resident (regardless of whether the vehicle was purchased or leased in Michigan) and covered by a manufacturer’s express warranty at the time of purchase or lease.

The Lemon Law does not apply to motor homes, buses, trucks other than pickups and vans, motorcycles, or off-road vehicles.

Michigan's Lemon Law
Red tow truck driving away with an attached gray sedan

Towing

If you believe that your vehicle has been unlawfully towed or that you were charged unreasonable towing or storage fees, Michigan law limits where and when you may challenge such actions. This Consumer Alert explains the process you must follow to get your vehicle back and to complain about unlawful towing and unreasonable fees.

Towing: Know How to Get Your Vehicle Back
Gas pumps in the foreground with graphs of numbers rising and lowering in the background

Gas Prices

Consumers are asking questions about gas prices. The following alert addresses commonly asked questions and discusses the role of the Michigan Department of Attorney General in investigating gas pricing issues.

Increased Gas Prices? Again?
Vector image of multiple text messages, blue and gray text boxes

Text Message Scams: Smishing

Smishing is when scammers send text messages pretending to be from trusted sources. The goal is to get targets to respond with personal information like passwords and credit card details or to click on links that install malware. It is just like phishing that uses emails; instead smishing uses texts.

Text Message Scams: Smishing
Broken apart blue pyramid; the top reads "Multi", the middle reads "Level," and the bottom reads "Marketing"

Multi-Level Marketing

"Multi-level" or "network" marketing is a form of business that uses independent representatives to sell products or services to family, friends, and acquaintances.  A representative earns commissions from retail sales he or she makes, and also from retail sales made by other people that he or she recruits.

Multi-Level Marketing or Illegal Pyramid Scheme?
Businesswoman ripping up a contract

Contract Cancellation

Perhaps because so many large retailers voluntarily allow consumers to return merchandise with no questions asked, many consumers assume that they have a right to cancel a contract or to ask a retailer to take back an item and refund the consumer's money. As a general matter of contract law, consumers do not have a right to cancel a sale of goods or services.

I Changed My Mind - Can I Cancel this Contract?
Person holding tablet with banking data on screen

Consumer Protection Act

The Consumer Protection Act applies to goods and services leased or purchased for personal, family and household purposes; prohibits price gouging, failing to reveal facts material to a sale, misrepresenting the source or geographic origin of goods or services, and many other unfair and deceptive business practices; and gives the Attorney General the power to investigate and the authority to sue.

Consumer using laptop to submit complaint form

File a Complaint

To report a scam, file a complaint or get additional information, contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General: 

Consumer Protection  
P.O. Box 30213 
Lansing, MI 48909 
517-335-7599 
Fax: 517-241-3771 
Toll free: 877-765-8388 
Online complaint form 

Keyboard with Complaint Button

File a Complaint

The Attorney General’s office helps consumers by informally mediating complaints. In many cases, this assistance will help you resolve your problem. However, if our mediation is not successful, the Attorney General cannot act as a private attorney on your behalf.

Our mediation process includes a letter from our Consumer Protection Division to the business or individual identified in your complaint. A copy of your complaint and submitted materials will be included with a request for a response.

We will contact you in writing after we have received a reply. If we do not hear back from the business or individual identified in your complaint within 30 days, we will recontact them regarding your complaint.

In some cases, we may be unable to get any cooperation from the business or individual. If they refuse to respond, we will confirm this to you in writing. You may then want to consider filing suit in Small Claims Court or consulting with a private attorney to review your legal options.

File a Complaint

Educate & Protect Yourself

Scammers have one goal: to get your personal -- especially financial -- information. Scams will always include one or more of the following tactics:

  • Urgent or secret requests
  • Believable stories or connections
  • Emotional appeal
  • Financial requests
  • Unusual payment type (wire transfer, cash reload card, gift card)

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Attorney General Dana Nessel presenting the scam presentation at a senior living center

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If your phone number has been registered on the Do Not Call Registry for 31 days or more, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.  Report a Do Not Call Registry violation online or call 888-382-1222.  

    For more information on how to protect yourself from telemarketing fraud, please see the Attorney General's Consumer Alert entitled "Robocall and Telemarketing Fraud."

  • You may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division by filing an online complaint or by calling 877-765-8388. 
  • No, but because Michigan law defines a “new car” to include a car still “covered by a manufacturer’s express warranty at the time of purchase or lease,” it could apply to a used car that meets that criteria.

    Otherwise, if you purchased your vehicle from a used car dealer, contact the Bureau of Information Security, Regulatory Monitoring Division at 888-767-6424 regarding a used vehicle complaint.

  • In most cases, if you have a complaint about auto repairs, you should contact the Secretary of State, Bureau of Regulatory Services at 888-767-6424.  For more information on what you should do if you have a complaint regarding auto repair, please visit the Secretary of State’s website
  • Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division toll-free at 877-765-8388.  When you call, you will speak to one of our Complaint Specialists.  If you give them the name of the business, and any other identifying information you have (such as an address or phone number), our Complaint Specialists can provide the number of complaints.

    Specific information about the complaints, including what the complaints are about and how they were resolved, will have to be submitted to our FOIA section

    You can also check online to see if the Better Business Bureau has any complaints on file regarding a company. 

  • To minimize telemarketing calls to your home, join the Federal Do Not Call Registry.  If you have an active e-mail account, you may register online.  To register by phone, dial  888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to place on the Do Not Call Registry.

    Registrations should stop most (but not all) telemarketing calls within 30 days of registration and need not be renewed.