Who Can You Complain to in Virginia?

Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
Consumer Protection Section
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Consumer Protection Hotline: (800) 552-9963/(804) 786-2042

For more information about filing a consumer complaint, click here.

Virginia’s Laws

Here’s a snapshot of Virginia’s laws regarding deceptive advertising:

Virginia Code § 59.1-200: Lists a number of fraudulent acts that are deemed to be unlawful, including, but not limited to, advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised, or with intent not to sell at the price or upon the terms advertised.

Possible Penalties

Some of the penalties that fraudulent or deceptive advertisers may suffer in Virginia include:

  • Up to three times the amount of actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater, if the advertiser acted willfully (Virginia Code § 59.1-204);

Small Claims Court in Virginia

If you’re not trying to recover big bucks, but rather just trying to recoup the money you spent on a product or service after being duped by a false ad, then you might consider filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court.

For general info about filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court, click here.

For info on how to file a Small Claims lawsuit in Virginia, click here for a PDF handbook.

Researching Consumer Complaints

To obtain copies of complaints consumers have filed against a business, you can send a Freedom of Information request to:

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219

A sample Freedom of Information request can be found here.

**Please note that this page is informational only and does not take the place of legal advice.  Please also note that the above summary is meant to provide a brief look at the laws in Virginia, and not a comprehensive list.**

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The chief law enforcement official in each one of the 50 states; also refers to the person heading the federal government’s Justice Department

A court order that requires a person or company to do a particular act or to refrain from doing a particular act. Example? A court order prohibiting a company from using an ad that’s been deemed deceptive.

Compensation for losses that are proven to have occurred.

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