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Consumer Alerts

Scams

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, you should report the matter to the local law enforcement agency in your area to investigate. The law enforcement agency will forward the matter to the district attorney’s office for prosecution if they can identify a suspect.

Even if you do not fall victim to a scam, it is important to alert others of the existence of scams in our community in order to prevent losses to members of our community. Please call our office at (707) 565-5317 to report a scam.

Tell your friends and family members to sign up for Consumer Alerts so they will get updated information on recent reported scams.

Consumer Complaints

Consumer Complaints can be filed directly with the District Attorney’s Office to report a problem with a business in Sonoma County that you have been unable to resolve. Instructions for filing can be found at:

Showing: 145 of 45

  • Published on October 20, 2020

    Scammers call and say that you have been sued or will be if you don’t pay a debt that you have no idea what they are talking about.  In other cases, scammers pretend to be law enforcement agencies and threaten arrest or suspension of driver’s license.

  • Published on October 20, 2020

    If you received an email purporting to be from the FTC Chairman Joseph Simmons it was not from him.

  • Published on October 20, 2020

    Be cautious if you receive a text or email indicating that Fed Ex or another delivery company is trying to deliver a package and asking you to click on a link to obtain additional information.

  • Published on October 20, 2020

    Have you received an email offering to help you reduce your monthly student loan debt.  Be cautious that it is not a scam.

  • Published on July 22, 2020

    We have received a report that phone solicitors are contacting seniors representing they are part of a new County sponsored program to assist seniors with home repairs.

  • Published on July 22, 2020

    Another recent scam has been reported locally in which the scammer sends a text indicating they have accessed your phone and that if you do not pay them, they will make embarrassing photos or texts public.

  • Published on May 28, 2020

    We have received reports that fraudulent applications are being filed for FEMA relief. If you believe that you are the victim of disaster relief fraud associated with FEMA, please report the fraud directly to the FEMA Fraud Branch

  • Published on April 6, 2020

    Unfortunately scammers look for opportunities during a crisis to create new scams or revamp existing scams. The Federal Trade Commission is issuing warnings regarding these scams.

  • Published on April 6, 2020

    On April 3, 2020, Governor Newsom issued a new Executive Order relating to price gouging during the ongoing COVID 19 crisis.  The order extends the price gouging limitations through September 4, 2020 for certain products

  • Published on December 10, 2019

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with the University of Phoenix based on deceptive advertisements that falsely touted their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft and other companies. The school did not have relationships with these companies. According to the FTC this is the largest settlement that they have obtained against a for-profit school. $50 million of the $191 settlement will be used to provide consumer refunds and $141 million in debt forgiveness.

  • Published on October 4, 2019

    Our office has received a report that individuals are going door to door in senior communities and offering a service to help elderly or disabled persons sign up for In-Home Support Services for a flat fee of $500.   

  • Published on October 4, 2019

    PG&E has established a $100 Million emergency relief fund to help wildfire victims in need of immediate financial assistance to help defer costs for housing, food, medical and other normal living expenses.

  • Published on June 13, 2019

    A reminder to be aware of rental scams.  We have received reports of new scams involving properties in Sonoma County. In these cases, a person runs an ad usually on Craig’s list advertising a property is for rent and instructs you to drive by.

  • Published on June 13, 2019

    On May 31, 2019, Governor Newsom extended the Price Gouging protections under Penal Code Section 396 for Sonoma County and other counties affected by wildfires.

  • Published on June 13, 2019

    The San Diego County Grand jury handed down a criminal indictment which uncovered a statewide financial fraud related to the operation, control and oversight of 19 charter schools including the California Sonoma STEAM II charter school in the Guerneville Elementary School District. 

  • Published on March 28, 2019

    The FTC announced it has reached a $35 million dollar settlement with Office Depot Inc. and a California-based tech support software provider.  Office Depot which merged with Office Max in 2013 provided a free service “ PC Check Up” to customers to scan their computers using the diagnostic program created by the software company. 

  • Published on March 8, 2019

    The Federal Trade Commission reports a spike in the number of people receiving fake calls from the Social Security Administration.  Since January 2018, the FTC reports they have received 63,000 reports and losses of $16.6 million

  • Published on March 8, 2019

    The Federal Trade Commission reports that it received nearly 143,000 reports about Tech Scams last year.  The statistics show that people over 60 are more than five times likely than younger people to lose money on this type of scam even though they are less likely to lose money on other types of scams.

  • Published on January 28, 2019

    A fraudulent email is circulating offering to sell Art Trails Open Studio 2018 Attendee list for a fee.

  • Published on December 13, 2018

    The Press Democrat reports that a Sonoma County resident received a phone call with a woman pretending to be his daughter screaming that she was in trouble.

  • Published on December 12, 2018

    The Federal Trade Commission reports that it had been receiving a number of reports about scams involving social security numbers. The scammers say that your social security number has been linked to a crime and that your number is being blocked and there is a fee to either unblock or get a new number.

  • Published on December 4, 2018

    Marriott International has announced that its Starwood Guest reservation database was breached which has exposed personal information of its guests.  This includes the names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, gender and reservation information. 

  • Published on December 4, 2018

    The Price Gouging protections under Penal Code 396 have been extended by the Governor through May 31, 2019.

  • Published on October 19, 2018

    A new law effective September 21, 2018 allows you to freeze and unfreeze your credit file with the credit reporting agencies for free. 

  • Published on October 19, 2018

    As many of our prior posts have indicated, scammers frequently use gift cards as a way to obtain payment because they are not traceable and no stop payment can be placed on them. 

  • Published on October 19, 2018

    The Federal Trade Commission has posted new resources for small businesses to help protect them from cybersecurity threats. 

  • Published on September 28, 2018

    Many scammers take advantage of our familiarity with well know businesses and their logos so that you think you are receiving an email from a store that you may do business with.

  • Published on September 28, 2018

    With the many recent disasters that have occurred locally and in the news, it is important to be aware that scammers unfortunately take advantage by exploiting these tragedies. For a helpful list of tips to consider when donating to charities

  • Published on September 28, 2018

    The Federal Trade Commission announced that it is refunding $505 million dollars to consumers who took out loans between January 2009 and January 2013 from AMG Services and its related companies.

  • Published on April 30, 2018

    Be aware of fraudulent emails indicating that an order was sent you you’re from eBay and advising to click on a link if you believe this was sent to you in error. These links may be spoofing emails, virus or phishing emails. Do not click on links. Contact ebay directly using their customer service number or email from their official website.   

  • Published on April 30, 2018

    Be aware of fraudulent emails purporting to be from Fed Ex advising you that they were unable to deliver a package to you and that you need to click a link to update your address or obtain the invoice to pick up a package.

  • Published on March 26, 2018

    The Federal Trade Commission announced it has filed a lawsuit against a company Amazing Wealth Systems—also known as AWX, FBA Stores and Online Auction Center—which advertised “Get started selling on Amazon and make $5,000-10,000 in next 30 days, even if you’ve never sold anything online before”.

  • Published on March 26, 2018

    On April 13, 2018, the Governor issued Executive Order B-51-18 which extended the price gouging protections under Penal Code 396 through December 4, 2018.

  • Published on March 26, 2018

    The Federal Trade Commission has received reports that consumers are receiving calls from individuals pretending to be with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

  • Published on March 7, 2018

    Starting in April 2018, Medicare will begin mailing new cards to recipients of Medicare benefits. The new cards will not have your social security number on them but will have a unique Medicare number.

  • Published on February 19, 2018

    We have received reports that individuals have been contacted by an individual representing that he is an officer with Health & Human Services that they have received a grant from Health & Human Services and they must first pay a fee with a gift card to receive the grant. This is a scam.

  • Published on February 19, 2018

    We previously provided information that the Federal Trade Commission had reached a settlement with Western Union to refund money to individuals that scammers had pay money through Western Union as part of the scam.  The time to file a claim for a refund has now been extended to May 31, 2018.

  • Published on February 8, 2018

    The Federal Trade Commission has charged a student loan debt relief organization with bilking more than $28 million from thousands of consumers by falsely promising that consumer’s monthly payments would go towards paying off their student loans.

  • Published on February 8, 2018

    A local hospital has reported that several of its patients have received calls advising them that a back brace that has been ordered for them and asking for the patient for their Medicare information for payment when no such device was ordered for the patient.

  • Published on February 8, 2018

    We have received a recent complaint that an individual who was attempting to sell an item on Craig’s List received a fraudulent email purporting to come from Pay Pal advising them that a payment had been received and to send money for shipping costs in order to receive payment for the item they were attempting to sell.

  • Published on January 3, 2018

    Fraudulent bills for fire debris removal have been reported by property owners in Mendocino County who are participating in the state-sponsored fire debris removal program.

  • Published on December 4, 2017

    The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a settlement agreement with Western Union to pay $586 Million dollars to victims of scams that used Western Union to wire money. Many of these scams involved people posing as family members in need of money or requesting money to claim a prize.

  • Published on November 8, 2017

    Sonoma County and Napa have received complaints of persons identifying themselves as “FEMA inspectors” coming to resident’s homes and asking for personal information. Reports have also been received that false FEMA claims have been filed using resident’s personal information such as social security numbers and when the resident attempts to file for aid they are advised an application has already been filed under their name.

  • Published on November 8, 2017

    The Governor issued an Executive Order which extends the protections against price gouging under Penal Code Section 396 as discussed below through April 18, 2018.

  • Published on October 23, 2017

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our community members who have been impacted by the wildfires. Unfortunately, this is a time when scam artists and unscrupulous people may try to take advantage of victims and the generosity of the community. 

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Contact Information

Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
Address
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273

Family Justice Center

The Family Justice Center Sonoma County (FJCSC)

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Seeks to empower family violence victims to live free from violence and abuse by providing wrap-around services to victims through a single access point.

Criminal Justice Associations