Where to Complain or Seek Help

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
August 1, 2008


Problem  Agencies to Contact*
False advertising
FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection or regional office
National Advertising Division, Council of Better Business Bureaus
Editor or manager of media outlet where ad appeared
Product marketed with false or misleading claims*
National or regional FDA office
FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators
State attorney general
State health department
Local Better Business Bureau
Congressional representatives
Bogus mail-order promotion
Chief Postal Inspector,
U.S. Postal Service Regional Postal Inspector
State attorney general
Bogus product purchased with credit card As soon as your credit care statement comes, ask the credit card company for instructions on how to get the charge reversed.
Dubious telemarketing
State attorney general
C Bureau of Consumer Protection or regional office
National Fraud Information Center web site or hotline
Improper treatment by licensed practitioner
Local or state professional society (if practitioner is a member)
Local hospital (if practitioner is a staff member)
State professional licensing board
Improper treatment by unlicensed individual
Local district attorney
State attorney general
Advice needed about questionable product or service
Local, state, or national professional or voluntary health groups
Medicare or Medicaid fraud
HHS Office of the Inspector General hotline
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field ofice
Internet-related consumer problem
eConsumer.gov (cross-border complaints)
FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Internet Fraud Complaint Center
Junk e-mail, including health-
related scams and chain letters
FTC’s e-mailbox

*Where more than one agency might be appropriate, contact all of them.

Where to Contact

  • FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, Washington, DC 20580. Tel. (202) 326-2222.
  • National Advertising Division, Council of Better Business Bureaus, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022. Tel. (212) 753-1358.
  • FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Tel. (301) 295-8024.
  • FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, HFD-314, 7520 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855. Tel. (301) 827-8931. Email: otcfraud@cder.fda.gov
  • Chief Postal Inspector, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC 20260. Tel. (202) 268-4267.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20535.
  • National Fraud Information Center, P.O. Box 65868, Washington, DC 20035. Tel. (800) 876-7060.
  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG) TIPS Hotline, P.O. Box 23489, Washington, DC 20026. Tel. (800) 447-8477
  • Quackwatch: Telephone: (919) 533-6009 E-mail: Click here
For local or regional offices of federal agencies consult the telephone directory under U.S. Government.

Agencies in Other Countries

Additional Information

This page was revised on January 30, 2020.