National Consumer Protection Week is February 28-March 6
The mission of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is to protect California consumers through numerous avenues including oversight, enforcement, and licensure of professions. We also work hard to educate the public about their rights as consumers and provide resources to empower them.
This year, the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is an opportunity for DCA—and our federal, state, and local partners across the country— to connect with consumers about the resources DCA offers, encourage the public to learn more about the resources DCA provides, and help consumers understand their rights and make well-informed decisions.
If you’ve ever had a bad experience a contractor, veterinarian, automotive repair shop, cosmetologist, or encountered someone posing as a licensed professional, you understand why it’s important to know your rights and use the services of only licensed professionals. One way to protect yourself from fraud, scams, and financial harm is to check the license before money changes hands or contracts are signed. DCA regulates many industries and the people licensed to work in them. If you have an issue, dispute, or disagreement with a professional, you can turn to DCA to submit your complaint.
DCA also advocates consumer interests before lawmakers and enforces consumer laws. Our enforcement staff works with the California Attorney General’s Office and local district attorneys to fight fraud in the marketplace. In fact, many investigations are initiated by consumer complaints. If DCA determines wrongdoing, it can take action against a license.
DCA issues licenses, certificates, registrations and permits in over 250 business and professional categories through 37 regulatory entities comprised of boards, bureaus, committees, a program, and a commission. These 37 entities set and enforce minimum qualifications for the professions and vocations they regulate, which include nearly all of California’s healthcare fields. To check if DCA regulates the industry you may have a complaint about, click here. There are many common industries DCA does not regulate so it is important to check before reaching out to submit your complaint.
DCA works to educate consumers through our award-winning magazine Consumer Connection; our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages; The DCA Page blog; and The Peel videos. Learn more about us in our publication Who We Are & What We Do. This publication is also available in Spanish: Quienes Somos y Que Hacemos.
If you need to verify a license or file a complaint against a licensee, call our Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210 or visit www.dca.ca.gov.