Consumer Protection – DATCP Has Your Back

The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has many free resources to help consumers protect themselves against scams.

“DATCP’s Bureau of Consumer Protection works hard to serve Wisconsin residents and visitors alike,” says DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski.

He says last year, staff responded to over 10,000 consumer complaints and over 26,000 calls and emails to the Consumer Protection Hotline. The agency conducted more than 420 presentations on consumer issues.

New this month, DATCP has redesigned its trade and consumer protection web pages. Now, datcp.wi.gov offers a more useful and enjoyable user experience. The agency now offers more than 150 of the Bureau of Consumer Protection webpages in Spanish. Content ranges from informative fact sheets to identity theft resources and complaint forms. A new DATCP consumer protection newsletter, Wisconsin Consumer News, also launches this month. Consumers can subscribe to emails with news, tips, and information about common issues, scams and fraud, and upcoming presentations.

DATCP provides free presentations across Wisconsin on a variety of consumer protection topics. These range across common scams, identity theft, landlord-tenant issues, and motor vehicle repair. In 2023, thousands of consumers were reached through hundreds of presentations. Anyone can request a public or private presentation for their community, organization, or business today. Just visit: ConsumerProtection.wi.gov and click “Presentations.”

Free digital copies of DATCP guides and resources are also available. These include the Consumer Guide. This contains more than 40 pages of comprehensive information on a wide range of consumer protection issues and topics. There’s also the Landlord Tenant Guide. This lays out the rights and responsibilities of both parties in Wisconsin rental housing agreements. And finally, there’s the Ready Reference Guide. You can use this to quickly find the organizations and resources they need for their specific issue.

Consumers can visit NoCall.wi.gov to learn more about the Wisconsin Do Not Call Registry, which can reduce the number of unwanted sales calls they receive. By signing up, you can add your phone number to a database of more than 4.97 million numbers that all licensed, legitimate telemarketers in Wisconsin are required to remove from their call lists. In the effort to combat illegal and unwanted robocalls, DATCP also assists in nationwide efforts such as Operation Stop Scam Calls.