Consumer Protection Complaints

Consumer Complaints. Is It Criminal?

The ability of a District Attorney’s Office to help consumers with their complaints is often limited.  District Attorneys do not have jurisdiction over most consumer complaints.  Most problems involving persons or entities who sell or offer goods and services do not constitute criminal activity, or are otherwise regulated or governed by civil statutes and local, state or federal agencies established to provide assistance to persons who believe they have been unfairly or wrongfully treated.  Additionally, some wrongful consumer-related acts are criminal acts, but fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Making a Consumer Complaint

There are acts against a consumer that do constitute criminal misconduct for which the Denver District Attorney’s Economic Crime Unit can pursue criminal charges.  The Unit investigates and prosecutes organized criminal activity, complex financial crimes, identity theft, criminal impersonation, theft, forgery, credit and debit card fraud, securities fraud, computer crime, and the financial exploitation of the elderly and other at-risk adults.  The Unit also prosecutes embezzlement, public corruption, and election fraud.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office maintains a fraud hotline through which a variety of consumer complaints and fraud inquiries are received.  While DA staff cannot give legal advice, they can try to assist in determining if a complaint is civil or criminal, or are subject to federal authority, and refer the citizen to the appropriate consumer or law enforcement agency.

If you believe you have been scammed, conned or exploited, call the DA’s Fraud Hotline at 720-913-9179.


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