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Welcome to the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), we are the agency responsible for enforcing
consumer protection laws  (Chapter 11 of the County code) which  prohibit unfair and deceptive business acts to ensure a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses.  Our office was established in 1971 and we are proud to have earned national recognition.

Our investigators have expertise in many types of consumer transactions.  We investigate and resolve consumer complaints, engage in consumer education and outreach, license certain businesses, and administer several programs.  OCP's dedicated staff is here to be of service to you. We publish an Office Brochure and an Annual Report which describe our commitment to being a responsive and accountable County Government Office.

Eric Friedman
Director
ConsumerProtection@montgomerycountymd.gov

Recent Scams & Alerts


The OCP would like to alert residents to the following scams reported by you, our consumers:
  • Social Security Phone Scam:

    If you get a call that looks like it’s from the Social Security Administration, think twice. Scammers are spoofing SSA’s 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information. Spoofing means that scammers can call from anywhere, but they make your caller ID show a different number – often one that looks legit. Here are few things you should know about these so-called SSA calls: https://go.usa.gov/xPEhxThe FTC has an audio recording of such a call. 
  • Energy Scams:

    A caller identifying himself as calling from PEPCO warns consumers that their power would be shut off due to unpaid bills.  The scammers fool the Caller ID by making it seem that they are calling from PEPCO.  The caller leaves a toll-free number (currently 1-800-460-6501) or similar.  When the consumer calls that number back, the outgoing message, or the person answering, identifies themselves as PEPCO.  If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a PEPCO representative about a bill that does not sound familiar and threatening to shut off your power, hang up and  call  PEPCO directly at the number that appears on your monthly bill to see if the call was legitimate.  Do NOT call the number they give you. Also, consumers report door-to-door vendors claiming to be PEPCO but may not be.  In fact, PEPCO issued a  press release about scammers contacting consumers about alleged delinquent accounts.  The scammers seek payment by pre-paid debit cards Police warned

    Similarly, door-to-door salesman will identify themselves as working for your energy supplier, ask to see a bill, and offer discounts and better deals.  Your account information is on your bill and you may be slammed into unwanted contracts with a different energy supplier (without your knowledge or consent).  Since PEPCO would still service the bill, you might not even know your supplier has been switched. Consumers report aggressive sales tactics where the salesperson refuses to leave until they see a bill so they can "check off" your name from their list.  Do not show them your bill and shut the door.  
  • Hot Package/Shipping Fraud

    “Hot package” scams are on the rise. Consumers, possibly victims of data breaches, are having their information used to set up new accounts, purchase cell phones, computer equipment, etc., have these items shipped to their homes, and picked up by dedicated "porch pirates" before the consumer is even aware. This results in a purchase record in the victim's name, a delivery confirmation to the victim's address, and debt for items never ordered. Even if you set up a credit freezes with the Big 3 credit reporting agencies, it would NOT freeze your credit with telecommunication accounts. Those accounts are served by the National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange .
  • Woodchuck Alert

    National Consumer Protection Week is March 4-10, 2018.  Please visit the Office of Consumer Protection this week on Facebook and Twitter as we bring you more tips and warnings about common scams.  Read More ...


More Scams


Please report any scams to consumerprotection@montgomerycountymd.gov  or to the OCP's Anonymous Tip Line at 240.777.3681.  


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