Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection Unit has been protecting Santa Barbara County consumers since 1971. Shortly thereafter, environmental protection was added to its responsibilities and title.


The goal of the District Attorney's Consumer Protection Unit is to serve the public's interest in maintaining an even playing field for both competing businesses and between businesses and the consumer.


The unit investigates and prosecutes, both civilly and criminally, unfair, fraudulent, dishonest business practices. Examples of such cases include: sweepstakes or telemarketing schemes aimed at the elderly and other scams which target elderly citizens; reference pricing cases involving phony sales; phony going-out-business sales; and many other types of cases involving unfair business practices.


Many complaints received by the Consumer Unit staff involve problems that are more appropriately handled by a state or federal agency that has specific jurisdiction relating to the particular problem experienced by the consumer. In these cases, the investigative staff of the Unit will refer consumer complaints to the appropriate state, local or federal agency.


Services provided by this unit include:

  • Investigation of complaints from individuals and businesses
  • Prosecution of civil and criminal consumer fraud violations
  • Educating the public
  • Mediation of consumer complaints by volunteer staff
  • Referral to agencies with appropriate jurisdiction to assist complainants

If you have a consumer complaint, or believe you may have been the victim of an unlawful scam, you can contact the Consumer and Environmental Protection Division at the following location:


Santa Maria
Kelly D. Scott
312-D East Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Tel: (805) 346-7540

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