Consumer Fraud & Environmental Crimes Unit

The Consumer Fraud and Environmental Crimes Unit handles two areas of prosecution for the Placer County District Attorney.

  • The Consumer Fraud Unit prosecutes unfair, fraudulent or dishonest business practices which harm consumers and honest businesses.
  • The Environmental Crimes Unit uses civil or criminal prosecution to enforce the laws that protect natural resources and the public.

The Consumer Fraud and Environmental Crimes Unit reviews cases which have been referred to the Placer County District Attorney's Office by a law enforcement agency. The District Attorney's Office has an Elder Abuse Unit to assist seniors and dependent adults who may have been the victim of a crime. If you are a victim of a crime, please make sure a report is made to the local law enforcement agency in your area.

Consumer Tips

  • Avoid offers that seem "too good to be true".
  • Avoid impulse buying of major items.
  • There is no "3-day Cooling Off Period" when buying cars.
  • Be aware of businesses who pose as official or government agencies when they are not.
  • Report ID Theft immediately to the Police or Sheriffs and contact your credit companies.
  • Check with the Placer County Recorders office to see if the business has the required business license.
  • Ask the business for references of previous customers and call the Better Business Bureau.
  • Check with regulatory agencies regarding required licenses.
  • Read all advertisements, warranties, guarantees and contracts fully and carefully before purchasing or signing.
  • Know what the refund policy is.
  • Do not be pressured into buying.
  • Keep all receipts and documents of the transaction.
  • If a problem arises, try to resolve the dispute with the business. Attempt to bring about a resolution.
  • If you cannot resolve the dispute, consider filing a small claims court complaint, retaining a private attorney, contacting a mediation organization, or filing a complaint with the applicable regulatory agency.
  • Do not be afraid to hang up on any unsolicited telephone call.


Beware of telemarketers who:

  • Use high pressure sales tactics
  • Insist on an immediate decision
  • Request a credit card number or social security number
  • Wants to send someone to your home to pick up money or requests payment via overnight delivery
  • Make statements that something is "free" and then requires you to pay something
  • Will not provide references that you can contact or any written information on product, service, charity or the business itself
  • Ask many questions of a personal nature regarding your marital or financial status, date of birth, your household
  • Ask you to withdraw or transfer from your bank account to theirs
  • Play on your emotions by telling you of personal hardships or crisis
  • Use a business name that sounds like a government agency