FAQs

General

What does the SC Attorney General’s Office do?

The Attorney General represents the State of South Carolina not individual citizens. The Attorney General serves as South Carolina’s Chief Prosecutor, Chief Legal Officer, and Chief Securities Officer.  

Does the Attorney General’s Office investigate crimes?

The Attorney General’s Office investigations are very specific and limited to our scope of work predominately in the areas of Grand Jury matters, Insurance and Medicaid Fraud, and Internet Crimes against Children.

Crimes must be reported to the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the matter.  If an agency has opted not to investigate your reported incident you may make a complaint through the chain of command within the local law enforcement agency. If still dissatisfied, you may inquire with your local Solicitor’s Office. Our office does not retain investigative staff for local matters and we do not have authority over law enforcement agencies.

How can I request a legal opinion?

The Attorney General issues legal opinions by written request about specific legal questions asked by elected or appointed government officials. Opinions are not provided to individual citizens. Your legislator may write to the Opinions Division to request an opinion on your behalf. Click here to view current and archived opinions.

Can the Attorney General’s Office represent me with a legal matter?

The Attorney General cannot represent you with your legal matter.  By law, the Attorney General cannot provide legal advice, interpretation of statutes or representation for private citizens.  You may contact the SC Bar Association/Lawyer Referral Service

The South Carolina Bar will provide referrals to a lawyer based on an individual’s legal situation and need. All lawyers must be in good standing with the SC Bar, maintain malpractice insurance coverage, and agree to provide one-half hour consultation for no more than $50. Afterwards the attorney’s rates apply. 

South Carolina Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service
Post Office Box 608
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

Phone: 1-800-868-2284 or 1-803-799-7100

Find a Lawyer or Mediator

What do I send the Attorney General’s Office for a Nonprofit Dissolution?

Pursuant to S. C. Code § 33-31-1403, in connection with a non-profit dissolution, please provide the Attorney General’s Office with a summary of the plan of dissolution, which would include, but be limited to, the following:

  1. The amount and type of assets currently and six (6) months prior, in possession of the corporation;
  2.    Were there any restrictions placed on gifts of personal or real estate in those assets;
  3.   A copy of the Articles of Incorporation, specifically pointing out which provision allows for the transfer of assets (if applicable);
  4. A listing of the Board of Directors of both corporations;
  5. A copy of the minutes authorizing the dissolution and transfer of the assets; and
  6. Any other information you think is pertinent in this review.
  7. No form to be submitted and no fee required.

Please mail the plan summary to:
South Carolina Attorney General’s Office
Attn:  Consumer Protection and Anti-Trust Division
Rembert C Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street Suite 519
Columbia, SC 29201

Can the Attorney General’s Office interpret laws?

The Attorney General’s Office does not interpret laws for citizens. By law, the Attorney General cannot provide legal advice, interpretation of statutes or representation for private citizens. You may visit https://www.sccourts.org/ to search for opinions and orders.

Click here view current and archived opinions from the Office of the Attorney General.

Consumer Issues

The SC Department of Consumer Affairs - Identity Theft Unit is a separate agency from the SC Attorney General's Office. For concerns regarding scams, identity theft, and business complaints please contact them directly by phone at 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (in SC only) or click here to file a complaint form online.

How do I file a complaint against a business in South Carolina? 

To file a complaint against a business in South Carolina please contact the SC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Phone: 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (In SC only)

File a Complaint

Where can I report poor conditions where I rent? 

You can report poor conditions about where you rent with the SC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Phone: 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (In SC only)

Links to Helpful Resources:

File a Complaint

Who handles problems with debt collections?

The SC Attorney General’s Office does not investigate debt collectors. Please contact the SC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Phone: 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (In SC only)

Additionally, you may wish to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Phone: (855) 411-2372

You do have certain rights regarding debt collection. Click the below resource links to view more information. 

Links to Helpful Resources:

Where can I call about a car dealership problem? 

To mediate complaints such as tampering with an odometer or giving a false odometer statement, warranty/service/repair issues, financing issues, dealer selling faulty vehicles, dealer failed to meet all terms and conditions contained in the written contract, or dealer publishing or circulating advertising that is misleading or inaccurate please contact the SC Department of Consumer Affairs

Phone: 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (In SC only)

File a Consumer Affairs Complaint

For other complaints such as an undelivered title within 45 days of the sale, undelivered paperwork needed to register a customer's vehicle, dealer did not pay off lienholder, or dealer went out of business before providing a customer with paperwork please contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Dealer License and Audit Unit.

File a Dealer Complaint

What are the lemon laws in South Carolina?

South Carolina has a lemon law that applies only to new vehicles. This law protects consumers who purchase or lease a new car, if the new car turns out to be defective. New means: (1) the vehicle was sold to a dealer by the manufacturer, (2) it was only used for test drives and (3) title has not been issued. For more information on the lemon law click here.

What should I do if my car was repossessed? 

By law, we cannot provide representation for individuals and do not have investigative staff for such matters.

Links to Helpful Resources:

Where can I report a scam? 

The SC Department of Consumer Affairs serves as the state's consumer protection agency by providing mediation services for consumers and businesses. They also address scams, identity theft, and business complaints.

Phone: 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (In SC only)

File a Complaint

What can I do about identity theft?

The Attorney General’s Office does not investigate identity theft. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs has an Identity Theft Unit to assist victims of this crime.

Phone: 803-734-4200 or 1-800-922-1594 (In SC only)

Where can I file a complaint about my TV, Phone, Internet, Radio, Access for People with Disabilities, or Emergency Services?

For complaints regarding billing or service issues, the Federal Communications Commission will serve your complaint on your provider. Your provider has 30 days to send you a response to your complaint. You are encouraged to contact your provider to resolve your issue prior to filing a complaint.

Phone: 1-888-225-5322

Where can I report international scams?

Econsumer.gov is a partnership of more than 35 consumer protection agencies around the world. Your complaint helps authorities spot trends and combat fraud.

https://www.econsumer.gov/#crnt 

Timeshare

Where can I file a complaint on a timeshare company in South Carolina?

Timeshare complaints are handled through the South Carolina Real Estate Commission and you may contact them by phone at 803-896-4400.

File a Complaint 

Homeowners Association (HOA)

Where can I report Homeowners Association (HOA) complaints?

HOAs are mutual benefit non-profits (benefitting only the members) and not for the benefit of the general public.  If you wish to file a complaint regarding your HOA you may do so with the South Carolina Homeowner’s Association Ombudsman with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

File a Complaint

International Marriage

How do I get my international marriage or divorce recognized?

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office does not recognize International Marriages. International marriages and divorces can prove to be complicated as laws and requirements vary from country to country.  You may wish to seek the advice of counsel.  If you do not have an attorney the South Carolina Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service could be of assistance:

Phone:1-800-868-2284 or 1-803-799-7100

Mailing Address:
South Carolina Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service
Post Office Box 608
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

Vehicles

What can I do if my new vehicle has manufacturer defects?

Please contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or file a complaint online.

Links to Helpful Resources:

File a Vehicle Safety Complaint

Insurance

While the Attorney General’s Office addresses insurance and Medicaid fraud, we do not handle policy, claim, warranty, or billing issues.

Where can I complain about my home warranty company?

Home warranty company complaints can be directed to the South Carolina Department of Insurance.

File a Complaint

Where can I report an insurance policy or billing problem?

While the Attorney General’s Office addresses insurance and Medicaid fraud, we do not handle policy, claim, warranty, or billing issues. Please contact the South Carolina Department of Insurance to report an insurance policy or billing problem.

File a Complaint

Where can I find information on an old life insurance policy?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners can assist consumers in locating life insurance policies and annuity contracts of a deceased family member or close relationship.

Mailing Address
1100 Walnut Street
Suite 1500
Kansas City, MO 64106-2197

Phone: 1-816-783-8500 

Hours of Operation:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Central Time)
Monday - Friday

Fraud

Where can I report insurance fraud?

If you suspect someone has committed any type of insurance fraud, call the South Carolina Insurance Fraud Hotline toll free - 1-888-95-FRAUD or submit a report online.

Once your report is submitted online, you will receive an email confirmation.

 

Where can I report Medicaid Fraud or Medicaid Recipient Fraud?

1-888-NO-CHEAT (1-888-662-4328) Tips can be made anonymously.

Where can I report Medicare Fraud?

Report anything suspicious to Medicare. If you suspect fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/help-fight-medicare-fraud

Where can I report food stamp (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance (TANF) fraud?

To make a report about fraud or benefit misuse, please call 1-800-616-1309.

https://dss.sc.gov/about/fraud/

Where can I report bankruptcy fraud?

Bankruptcy fraud should be reported to the United States Department of Justice.  Information about how to report bankruptcy fraud can be found online in the link below or by contacting the United States Trustee in South Carolina using the following contact information:

United States Trustee
1835 Assembly Street, Suite 953
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 765-5250

http://www.scb.uscourts.gov/trustee-information


US Department Of Justice

https://www.justice.gov/ust/report-suspected-bankruptcy-fraud

Where can I report Unemployment Fraud?

When reporting unemployment fraud, please provide as many details as possible regarding the fraud you’re reporting including:

  • The name, address, Social Security number (if available), or individual or business suspected of committing fraud.
  • The business’s name and address involved with the allegation.
  • Specific dates surrounding the allegation, hours or times worked, and specific details that help substantiate the allegation.

You do not have to provide your name or identifying information to file a fraud allegation unless you want to. Any contact information provided remains confidential.

S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
Fraud Investigation Recovery Enforcement Unit
P.O. Box 995
Columbia, SC 29202

Fraud Hotline: 1-800-868-1488 (toll-free)

https://survey.dew.sc.gov/TakeSurveyPage.aspx?s=d78509f78a2b4ebf95f51ca5f677966d&tsid=94c7cff7f3784834a0ab12d45af507ae&c=en-US

Where can I report state or federal tax fraud?

Our office does not investigate tax fraud. Tax fraud is handled by South Carolina Department of Revenue’s Security Center or federally, the IRS.

https://dor.sc.gov/report-tax-fraud

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/how-do-you-report-suspected-tax-fraud-activity

Where can I report a fraudulent moving company?

For South Carolina regulated moving companies please contact the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff.

Phone: 803-737-0984 

For out of state moving companies contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Phone: 1-888-DOT-SAFT

Internet Crimes, Children, and Vulnerable Adults

Where can I report an internet crime?

The Attorney General’s office investigates and prosecutes Internet Crimes Against Children.  Other Internet crimes do not fall within the purview of the Attorney General's Office. Internet fraud is investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  You will need to report your documentation to their Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) portal as they only accept notification through their internet system at - https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.

Where do I report crimes such as abuse and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults?

You may contact local law enforcement or the South Carolina Department of Social Services to report violations.

Where can find help for senior citizens and the elderly?

You may contact the South Carolina Department on Aging at 1-800-868-9095.  Visit https://www.sciway.net/org/seniors.html for resource listings by county.

Where can I report child support or paternity problems?

Child support and paternity are handled by the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Phone: 1-800-768-5858

How can I file a complaint on a health care facility or nursing home?

Contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control for complaints about a health care facility or nursing home. To ensure that we have the necessary information please complete the Complaint Form (DHEC Form 0284). If you have additional supporting documentation please submit that along with the form.

  1. Online - Please complete the Online Complaint Form to submit complaints electronically. There is no need to submit a form if you use this method. This is the most expedient means for our office to handle your complaint.​

  2. Mail/Fax - Mail complaints to DHEC, Bureau of Health Facilities Licensing, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC, 29201 or fax complaint to (803) 545-4212.

  3. Telephone - If you are unable to e-mail, mail, or fax your complaint, then call our office at (803) 545-4370 and let the operator know that you wish to file a complaint.

Law Enforcement

Can you investigate law enforcement?

Our office does not oversee law enforcement officers nor do we have any authority over the law enforcement divisions in our state.

Concerns pertaining to law enforcement are typically addressed through the chain of command within the division.  If you have already contacted the Chief of Police for your local law enforcement division, you may escalate your complaint to the county sheriff’s office.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)may investigate a law enforcement agency depending on the nature of the complaint.                        https://www.sled.sc.gov/

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice is authorized to investigate law enforcement divisions.

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

(202) 514-4609

https://www.justice.gov/crt/addressing-police-misconduct-laws-enforced-department-justice

 

How can I file a complaint against a lawyer or judge?

The Attorney General’s Office does not investigate lawyers or judges complaints.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel, a division of the South Carolina Judicial Department addresses complaints regarding lawyers and judges licensed to practice law in South Carolina. 

South Carolina Judicial Department
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
P.O. Box 12159
Columbia, SC 29201

Lawyer complaints - (803) 734-2037

Judicial complaints - (803) 734-1965

www.judicial.state.sc.us

Where can I file a complaint against the courts?

Our Office has no oversight over the Judicial Branch of government. 

SC Court complaints or concerns can be addressed through the South Carolina Court Administration and they may be reached at (803) 734-1800.

Where can I file a complaint about an elected or public official?

South Carolina State Ethics Commission
201 Executive Center Drive, Suite 150
Columbia, SC 29210

Office: (803) 253-4192

https://ethics.sc.gov/complaints

 

This includes local governments, police and sheriff's departments, and school districts.

State Agencies

Where can I find help with other state agencies?

The Governor’s Office Government Ombudsman can assist with additional state resources.

http://ombudsman.sc.gov/

Wade Hampton Building
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Telephone: (803) 734-5049

Who investigates SC state agency complaints?

The Attorney General’s Office does not investigate other state agencies.  Complaints for agencies that fall under the Executive Branch are handled by the South Carolina Office of the Inspector General.

These are the agencies under the Executive Branch:

https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch

Hotline: 1-855-723-7283

https://apps.sc.gov/OIGComplaintForm/ComplaintForm.aspx

For all other complaints visit:

https://oig.sc.gov/information-links

How can I file a complaint about the SC Department of Corrections?

Our office does not have oversight of the Department of Corrections which is a cabinet agency in state government.  You may find these contacts useful in addressing your concerns:

http://www.doc.sc.gov/contact.html

How can I file a complaint about a licensed professional in South Carolina?

South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Synergy Business Park; 
Kingstree Building
110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, South Carolina 29210

(803) 896-4300

https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/Complaints/

Link to professions covered under the agency SCLLR:

https://llr.sc.gov/professions.aspx

Voting

How can I report voting or candidate law violations?

Any issues or complaints regarding a polling place on Election Day should first be addressed to the poll managers.  Poll managers may be able to quickly resolve the issue.  If not resolved at the polling place, or if the issue or complaint is regarding some other aspect of the election, voters should contact their county elections office. To find your election office please visit:

https://www.fvap.gov/search-offices?state=40

Discrimination & Civil Rights

Where can I report housing, work, and public accommodations discrimination?

The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission was created by the General Assembly in 1972 to encourage fair treatment, eliminate and prevent unlawful discrimination, and foster mutual understanding and respect among all people in this state. 

SC Human Affairs Commission
1026 Sumter Street Suite 101
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 737-7800

https://www.schac.sc.gov/

Where can I report that my civil rights were violated?

U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina
Attn: Civil Rights Program
1441 Main Street, Suite 500,
Columbia, 29201.

(803) 929-3000.

Fax: (803) 733-5966

Email: usasc.civilrights@usdoj.gov;

Web: https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/ 

Work & Safety

Where can I report work safety and pay violations?

South Carolina and federal laws are the source of various rights employers and employees have in their employer/employee relationships. Office of Wages and Child Labor is one of several state and federal agencies, which administers the laws assuring these rights. Occupational safety, payment of wages, child labor, migrant labor and mediation of disputes between unions and businesses all fall under LLR. Elevators and amusement rides also are regulated to assure the public's safety.

(803) 896-7756

 

Workplace Fairness Links

https://www.workplacefairness.org/agencies_SC

 

Who handles or investigates Family Medical Leave Act complaints?

The US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, administers and enforces the FMLA for all private, state and local government employees, and some federal employees. The Wage and Hour Division investigates complaints. If violations cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the U.S. Department of Labor may bring action in court to compel compliance. An employee may also be able to bring a private civil action against an employer for violations. In general, any allegation must be raised within two years from the date of violation.

For additional information, visit the Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov\ or call the toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

Where can I report a disability (ADA) violation?

SC Department of Health & Human Services
Civil Rights Division
1801 Main Street
PO Box 8206
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

Telephone number: 888-808-4238

TTY: 888-842-3620

Email: civilrights@scdhhs.gov

Concealed Weapons & Criminal Background Checks

Where can I get my weapons questions answered?

We are unable, by law, to provide legal advice or interpretations of the law.

You may consult an attorney, or if you do not have an attorney you may contact the South Carolina Bar Association at 1-800-868-2284.

Can I carry a concealed weapon when traveling or visiting South Carolina?

You may contact the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. You may visit their website which has concealed weapons permit information, links to SC laws, FAQ’s, and reciprocity information.

https://www.sled.sc.gov/cwp.html

Where can I get a criminal background check in South Carolina?

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED handles background checks.

https://catch.sled.sc.gov/

Who can I contact if something is wrong on my criminal background check?

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division handles background checks.

Please visit https://catch.sled.sc.gov/

If you have concerns about something on your background please contact SLED Public Dissemination Unit at 803-896-1443.

Banking, Mortgages, and Loans

Where can I file a complaint on a banking or loan company?

South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions : Office of the Commissioner of Banking

The Consumer Finance Division (CFD) licenses and regulates the business activities of all companies, excluding depository institutions or insurance companies, that make consumer loans which have annual percentage rates exceeding 12% and are not secured by real property or a residential dwelling.

For complaints regarding a Consumer Loan ("Personal Loan" or "Title Loan") or a Deferred Presentment Transaction ("Payday Loan") file with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

For complaints regarding a Mortgage Loan through a Bank, file with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

www.cfpb.gov

For complaints related to any other Mortgage Loan, please file with our Division. Please complete the mortgage complaint form and send it with any supporting documents to the Division at:

Consumer Finance Division                          
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 306
Columbia, SC 29201

Attn: Mortgage Complaints

Email: complaints@bofi.sc.gov

Online: www.consumerfinance.sc.gov/complaints 

South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions

Office of the Commissioner of Banking

The Office of the Commissioner of Banking regulates state chartered banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, trust companies and credit unions.

https://banking.sc.gov/regulated-institutions/banks

https://banking.sc.gov/file-complaint

 

National Banks

Office of the Comptroller of Currency handles complaints or concerns with National Banks. Here is a listing of the banks and their subsidiaries.

https://www.helpwithmybank.gov/national-banks/operating-subsidiaries/national-banks-subsidiaries-a-m.html#a

https://www.occ.treas.gov/topics/supervision-and-examination/dispute-resolution/consumer-complaints/index-consumer-complaints.html

Credit Unions

National Credit Union Association

If you have a complaint, first, try to resolve the problem directly with your credit union. This may involve contacting the credit union's customer service department, senior credit union management, or the supervisory committee.

https://www.mycreditunion.gov/consumer-assistance-center

https://www.mycreditunion.gov/consumer-assistance-center/complaint-process

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The FDIC's Consumer Response Center is responsible for investigating all types of consumer complaints about FDIC-supervised institutions and responding to consumer inquiries about consumer laws and regulations. You may call and speak to a Consumer Affairs Specialist about your concerns. However, in order to investigate or review your issues, they must receive your complaint in writing.

FDIC Call Center

1-877-275-3342 (1-877-ASKFDIC)

8:00 am - 8:00 pm ET; Monday-Friday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm ET; Saturday-Sunday

For the Hearing Impaired - Toll Free 1-800-877-8339

https://ask.fdic.gov/fdicinformationandsupportcenter/s/

Other Agency Contacts

While we serve to support the State of South Carolina, the Attorney General does not have jurisdiction over many areas of the law, including family court matters, probate matters, private disputes or private litigation. Please be aware that our office, by law, can only provide legal advice and opinions to public officials. Below are other agency contacts for common issues.

Consumer Affairs

To file a consumer complaint, please call (803) 734-4200 or (800) 922-1594 or visit the Consumer Affairs website.

Legal Issues & Representation

If you have legal questions about a problem you may be experiencing, and you do not have an attorney, the S.C. Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to a lawyer in your area. The fee is $50 for a 30-minute consultation. For more information, including legal aid guidelines, contact the Bar at 1-800-868-2284 or (803) 799-7100 or visit their website.

Legislation Information or Access to the Code of Laws

For information about the General Assembly, legislation, or to access the Code of Laws online, contact the visit the SC State House website.

Judges or Attorneys Complaint

To make a complaint about judges or attorneys, please contact the SC Judicial Department at ODCmail@sccourts.org or visit the SC Judicial Branch website.

Child Support Cases, Filing a Claim or Other Family Court Issues

For questions about child support cases, filing a claim for child support, paternity, or other family court issues, please visit the SC Department of Social Services to submit a contact form.