Hillsborough County residents who are faced with consumer problems, including payment of wages, disputes with companies and more, can seek help through the Consumer and Veterans Services Department.

Hillsborough County offers many great services to its residents. This includes Consumer Protection Services through the Consumer and Veterans Services Department. It offers, among other things, an opportunity for residents to have consumer complaints investigated.

In addition, consumer outreach and education programs aimed at preventing victimization are conducted in the community, and information is regularly provided about unfair or deceptive business practices in common areas, such as home improvement contracting, telemarketing and many other scams.

Hillsborough County has several locations where you can physically go to get help. This includes the Brandon Regional Service Center, located at 311 Pauls Dr., #100 in Brandon. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. In addition, you can visit the Southshore Regional Service Center, located at 410 30th St. SE, Ste. 104 in Ruskin. This location is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

If you are an employee or an independent contractor and the company for whom you work or contract with fails to pay you, you have legal options, and the Consumer Services Department can help you.

Additionally, Consumer Services provides educational programs. They can be scheduled for civic organizations and junior and senior high school students.

Finally, it offers residents an opportunity to use its site to search for a business if you have a consumer complaint.

Eric Olsen, manager of Consumer Protection Services for Hillsborough County’s Consumer and Veterans Services, said, “Consumer Protection Services investigates complaints from citizens and visitors to Hillsborough County regarding unfair or deceptive trade practices, theft, fraud or lost wages, and the team works to educate and inform consumers to help them avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Results of Consumer Protection activities involve the return of money, goods and services, which provides relief to our citizens and directly helps to alleviate the burden on our local courts and law enforcement.”

To get more information, please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/government/departments/consumer. You can also call 813-635-8316.

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