U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Phone: (202) 514-2000
E-mail: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which was established in 1870 and is led by the Attorney General, is the federal executive department responsible for enforcing federal laws.  Among other things, it works with other federal agencies (such as the FTC) to investigate and prosecute companies involved in deceptive or illegal advertising.

For example, in 2009, the DOJ started a criminal investigation into Google’s posting of advertisements by Canadian pharmacies for the sale of drugs to U.S. consumers.  The DOJ’s investigation revealed that Google’s posting of the ads resulted in the unlawful importation of prescription drugs into the U.S.  Result?  Google agreed to settle the case and fork over $500 million.

The DOJ also pursues mass-marketing fraud schemes, such as “Work-at-Home” scams, sweepstake frauds, or any other type of fraud scheme that uses mass-communication – such as the Internet, telephones, or the mail.  For some examples of mass-marketing fraud schemes the DOJ has prosecuted, click here.

One thing to keep in mind is that the DOJ does not take complaints from private citizens.  So, if you want to report a fraudulent ad campaign, you need to find the appropriate federal agency.

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