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Consumer News/Announcements


Making Home Affordable Program ends; Contact us for foreclosure help

Are you facing foreclosure? Contact us for help keeping your home and tips on avoiding loan modification scams.


VITA Can Help You File Your Taxes for Free and Keep The Money You've Earned

Why pay to file your taxes when you can file for free? Using the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, you can keep the money you’ve earned.


Keep Protecting Yourself After the Disaster

Suffered damage in the winter storms? Protect yourself against scams and price gouging during and after an emergency. Some people try to profit from those who are most vulnerable. Know the difference between those who help and harm.


Contracting Connections program helps small businesses certify, connect, and grow

Want to sell your goods or services to Los Angeles County? We're buying! The County has set a goal to increase the number of contracts awarded to small businesses.


DCBA Celebrates 2016 National Mediation Week

Having issues with a landlord, neighbor, or business owner? Looking for an alternative to court? Learn how mediation can help you resolve a variety of disputes.


Consumer News Alert: Yahoo accounts data breach

At least 500 million Yahoo accounts have been compromised. Change your password immediately or close your account to protect your information.


Students of Now-Closed ITT Tech Have Consumer Rights

ITT Educational Services, Inc. has closed all ITT Technical Institute locations nationwide, including 14 campuses in California. If you are a student, get all of your records in order and you might get relief on your loans and tuition costs.


Consumer News Alert: HEI Hotels data breach

The credit card information of an unknown number of customers of several upscale hotels in the HEI Hotels chain may have exposed due to malware in point of service terminals. Check your credit report and get a fraud alert.


LifeSmarts seeking consumer-savvy students

LifeSmarts is an online-based curriculum that brings real-world skills to students. The program includes core consumer topics including: Personal Finance, Consumer Rights & Responsibilities, Health & Safety, Technology, and the Environment.


DCBA investigation leads to felony charges in immigration fraud case

A DCBA investigation, in partnership with the office of the California Attorney General and other agencies, has resulted in felony charges against the owner of a Los Angeles-based business for defrauding immigrants.


DCBA Wage Enforcement Joins Forces with Federal, State Departments

DCBA signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Labor and California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement to help resolve alleged wage violation cases more efficiently and assist in outreach efforts to area workers and businesses.


Home Buying Tips for First-Time Buyers

June is National Homeownership Month and in celebration, we put together this list of helpful hints and resources for first-time home buyers.


DCBA Joins Community Groups to Increase Awareness about L.A. County’s Minimum Wage Ordinance

DCBA is proud to partner with the L.A. County Workplace Justice Collaborative for outreach to workers and businesses on the minimum wage ordinance in effect in unincorporated areas of the County.


Consumer News Alert: Local auto group accused of deceptive and unfair sales practices

A local auto group is accused of employing illegal sales tactics. Know your rights and read these tips when shopping for vehicles.


Watch Out for Government Look-alike Scams

Beware of official-looking documents in the mail, or similar phone calls or emails, as they may be traps to get you to buy phony services, or give up your personal private information.


L.A. County Small Business Initiative boosts local businesses

The Small Business Initiative is a five-year Countywide initiative designed to help small businesses succeed and grow during the minimum wage increases.


Minimum Wage Increases in Unincorporated Los Angeles County

Effective July 1, 2016, the minimum wage in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County is $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees. People who work at least two hours in a one-week period in any unincorporated area of the County are entitled to the new wage.


Entrepreneurs, Try Our New Small Business Services in 2016

If you’re thinking about starting a business in the New Year, we can help turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. DCBA is proud to offer the Small Business Concierge and now Small Business Saturdays, a free, informative workshop series to help prospective business owners in L.A. County.


Don’t let holiday debt get you down, take action!

As much as you enjoyed seeing your friends and family open the gifts you purchased, are you now realizing that you spent more than you meant to during this holiday season? Here are 10 tips to help you tackle post-holiday debt.


DCBA’s mediators have delivered results for 30 years

National Mediation Week 2015 is Oct. 11-17. Since 1986, DCBA mediators have served the consumers and businesses of Los Angeles County. It’s a successful program and one that continues to grow, both in size and quality.


April is California Financial Literacy Month

California Financial Literacy Month is all about helping Californians achieve their financial goals. Understanding how financial products and services work helps you make better, more informed decisions.


Employees Benefit from California Sick Leave Law

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which requires California employers to implement paid sick leave. The new law became effective on July 1, 2015.


DCBA Celebrates National Consumer Protection Week 2016

When it comes to being a smart consumer, here are some simple Dos and Don’ts to remember this National Consumer Protection Week, which takes place from March 6-12, 2016.


Fulfill Your Dream Vacation and Avoid a Travel Nightmare

It’s summertime and, for many, traveling season is here. How do you help ensure your vacation is relaxing and not ruined by high costs and stress? Don’t forget the sunscreen, your itinerary, and these helpful tips.


Get the Max from Your Tax Return

You have worked all year and now it’s time to complete your 2015 tax return. Filing out your own taxes can be complicated and hiring the right tax preparer can be nerve-racking. How do you make sure you get all available tax credits and refunds? Follow these tips.


DCBA celebrates Small Business Week 2016

If you own a small business or you’re thinking about starting a business, DCBA is here to work for you. National Small Business Week takes place from May 1-7, 2016. DCBA is celebrating with two special events for entrepreneurs.


Want to Be a Star? Start by Avoiding Talent Services Scams

Legitimate talent representatives do not to ask their clients for upfront money. Your success is their success. Unfortunately, some would-be talent service providers/agents are less concerned about your career aspirations. They want your money, right away, before the lights and cameras get flipped on.


Make the Most of Your Money When It’s Time to Travel

You might want to travel to another country and explore distant cultures. You may just be interested in visiting a state you’ve never seen before. Or you might be interested in visiting a city not too far from home. No matter where you go, remember these tips so you can avoid making costly decisions while travelling.


DCBA Awarded for Mediation Program during L.A. County Mediation Week

The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) is proud to celebrate Mediation Week in the County of Los Angeles from April 4-8, 2016.


Small Business Concierge a boon for L.A. County entrepreneurs

Starting a small business can be a difficult and daunting task. The County of Los Angeles has the one answer a prospective business owner needs: the Small Business Concierge.


Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Changing the Way We Pay

Chip-enabled cards, a newer, more secure technology, will soon replace traditional credit cards. All major credit card companies are currently making the transition. If you own a small business, consider upgrading your equipment.


Public comment on potential minimum wage increase completed

DCBA has completed its series of business forums on potential minimum wage increase. Thank you for contributing your comments.


Avoid Being a Victim of Holiday Scams

'Tis the season for giving. But beware of the Grinches out there who scam consumers and commit fraud to fill their own stockings.


Watch Out for Elder Financial Abuse Scams

The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It's a good time to remind ourselves of the best ways to keep seniors safe from elder financial abuse.


The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs: new name, expanded services

The Department of Consumer Affairs has always been dedicated to making the County of Los Angeles a better place to live, shop, and do business. We continue that dedication with a significant change: a new department name to represent our expanded services. We are proud to reintroduce ourselves as the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.


Consumer News Alert: T-Mobile/Experian data breach

The personal information of up to 15 million customers of T-Mobile were exposed in a cyber attack on the credit reporting agency Experian. The data breach affected people who applied for T-Mobile services from Sept. 1, 2013 to Sept. 16, 2015.


DCBA celebrates National Consumer Protection Week

The County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs is proud to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week from March 1-7, 2015


Layaway is an Option for Holiday Shoppers

With the holiday season just around the corner, you may already be thinking about getting a head start on holiday shopping. If you have no credit, limited credit, or you just want an alternative that allows you to spread out the cost of paying for gifts, layaway can be an effective way to pay.


Seeking California’s brightest, consumer-savvy students!

Register now for LifeSmarts and represent our state in nationwide quiz competition! LifeSmarts is a fun, team-based competition designed to teach middle school and high school students the knowledge and skills they need to be smart, consumer savvy adults.


Consumer Alert: Anthem insurance data breach

The personal information of at least 80 million customers of Anthem health insurance has been stolen by hackers. The information stolen includes names, birthdays, medical IDs, social security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information, including income data.


‘Notarios’ in L.A. County indicted on immigration fraud charges

An immigration consultant and one of her employees were arrested after being named in a federal indictment that alleges they filed fraudulent “green card” applications on behalf of immigrants who were married to U.S. citizens.


Facing Foreclosure? We Can Help You

If the home you own or rent is in foreclosure or if you are having trouble making your mortgage statements, you will need to act quickly. DCA is here to provide free, reliable help.


Rent-to-Own Business Pays $28.4M Settlement to State

The California Attorney General’s Office announced a $28.4 million settlement with Aaron’s, Inc. to resolve allegations that the company violated California consumer protection and privacy laws. Aaron’s is the second largest rent-to-own business in the nation. The County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs assisted with the investigation.


DCA investigators help put end to loan modification scam

Investigators from the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs assisted in a multi-agency investigation which led to jail sentences for four individuals involved in a loan modification scam.


Six New Laws for Your Small Business in the New Year

Not sure how much paid sick leave to give your workers? Worried about losing a deceased parent’s disabled veteran-owned business? Uncertain about how to resolve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaints? Several new laws for 2016 will impact your business. Here are six new laws every business owner should know.


Students of Closed Schools Have Consumer Rights

Students of recently closed Career Colleges of America might be able to get their tuition costs reimbursed or federal loans discharged.


Your First College Lesson: Avoid Scholarship Scams

Getting a scholarship can help students manage the high costs of college. Searching for scholarships can be difficult and it might make you vulnerable to unrealistic promises and scams. Here are some common scholarship scams you should look to avoid.


Starting college? Make sure you pass Credit 101

As you head off to college, you will want to make sure you can handle the costs of basics such as food and books plus any unexpected costs. This often means getting your first credit card. A little credit card savvy can go a long way in maximizing opportunities and avoiding credit dangers.


Increase Your Cyber Security During Holiday Shopping

With the holiday shopping season now underway, you may be doing more online shopping during the next few weeks. Large-scale data breaches are on the rise. While risk can never be fully eliminated, good online habits can certainly reduce your risk.


Know Your Food Labels Before You Buy

Understanding the buzzwords can cut confusion for consumers.


A New Look for a Clearer Vision: Introducing Our New Logo

Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors updated our department’s name to reflect our expanded services. Now, we introduce the new logo for the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.


New laws give consumers new protections in 2015

The Department of Consumer Affairs has worked to understand all of the new consumer laws passed by California lawmakers this year. Here is a brief summary of a few of the important new consumer laws for 2015.


DCA Expands Homeowner Notification Program

Consumer Affairs is pleased to announce an expansion of its Homeowner Notification Program, which has informed and assisted Los Angeles County homeowners for more than 15 years.


Don’t let debt spoil your holiday season

For many consumers, giving gifts for the holidays can quickly turn into overspending. The Department of Consumer Affairs wants you to spend wisely this holiday season. Here are some important tips to keep you from falling into debt with your holiday shopping.


Consider Changing Passwords Due to Heartbleed Bug

The “Heartbleed” bug could have potentially make consumers’ information available to hackers. Many popular websites have added security patches. If they have done so, consumers should consider creating new passwords.


Car dealers settle charges after DCA/FTC investigation

Multiple car dealers have agreed to settle charges of deceptive practices in the sale, financing, and leasing of motor vehicles with the FTC. DCA assisted the FTC with multiple investigations in Los Angeles County as part of a nationwide sweep.


DCA Volunteers Keep Alive the Spirit of Public Service

The volunteers at the Department of Consumer Affairs play a special role in assisting consumers who need help. Volunteers respond to questions, review consumer complaints, and listen to consumers of Los Angeles County every day.


Consumer Scams Impacting Our Seniors

May is Older Americans Month and we are taking the opportunity to remind the older members of our community that they should be on the lookout for consumer scams.


DCA Supports Season of Nonviolence in L.A. County

Consumer Affairs is proud to support the Board of Supervisors, who recently declared a Season of Nonviolence in Los Angeles County.


Ridesharing Companies: An Easy Ride or a Crash Course?

Ridesharing companies offer convenience and they’re becoming extremely popular, especially with young consumers. But before you pull out your smartphone, here are some of the basics to help you decide if you’re making a smart consumer choice.


DCA Recognizes Women's Health Month

The Board of Supervisors has declared May 2014 as “Women’s Health Month” throughout Los Angeles County to encourage County employees to participate in and support women’s health activities.


DCA celebrates L.A. County Mediation Week

The Department of Consumer Affairs is proud to celebrate Mediation Week in the County of Los Angeles from May 26-30. The Board of Supervisors recognized the week to encourage County residents, businesses, and organizations, wherever feasible, to utilize the process of mediation to resolve disputes.


DCA recognizes Insurance Fraud Awareness Month

The Board of Supervisors has declared June 2014 as “Insurance Fraud Awareness Health Month” throughout Los Angeles County. Fraudulent claims are costly to both insurance companies and consumers.