The City of Chicago is currently in Phase Four: "Gradually Resume." Many City services have adjusted hours or locations and may require health screens prior to entering their physical spaces. Please call ahead or visit any department's website to get additional details, or visit chicago.gov/covid-19.
The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) provides consumers with information about their rights and helps in protecting them from fraud and deceptive practices. A list of organizations for consumers can be found at BACP's Consumer Protection Pocket Guide and Consumer Self-Help Resource Guide.
BACP helps homeowners and renters protect themselves from scams by providing helpful information on topics such as mortgage fraud, home repair fraud, and storm damage. Other helpful information is also available about condominium ordinance, residential energy disclosure, Know Before You Book A Vacation Rental and bed bugs.
BACP provides information for retail shoppers on purchasing a mattress, what to be aware of when holiday shopping, and button battery dangers. We also have shopping tips for parents, information on the BPA-Free Kids Ordinance, safety requirements for new cribs, and recalls for children's products. Also, check out the Know Before You Send Your Kids To School Campaign.
BACP helps consumers protect themselves from scams by providing helpful information on topics such as credit repair and mortgage and foreclosure fraud. Other helpful information on tax preparation services, such as refund anticipation loans and the bill of rights for consumers using tax preparation services.
If you own or are thinking of purchasing a vehicle, BACP make the following information available to help you: CNG Vehicle Purchase Guide, 10 Consumers tips auto repair, and information on private booting companies.
If you have been scammed, let us know about it. BACP prosecutes businesses for unlawful business practices. In some cases, BACP may collect restitution for the consumers that have been ripped off.
Once a complaint is filed, either online or by calling 311, you will be sent a consumer complaint affidavit. This affidavit allows you to fully explain what occurred in detail. It also requires a notarized signature so that BACP can begin to investigate your case. It is important that you complete the affidavit and mail it back within the allotted time frame so that we can assist you. Forms that are not returned will not be investigated. You can get started by filing a consumer fraud complaint here.
It is important to see if a business has a license and its history. You can check to see if a business in the City of Chicago is licensed using this online business license look-up tool. You can find company and individual that have disciplinary actions from the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection here.
Consumer Connection is a series of public service announcements that keep Chicago's consumers informed on potential fraudulent business practices and current scams in the marketplace. You can watch current or past episodes of Consumer Connection.