Former President Ronald Reagan was fond of saying “trust, but verify.”

Along those same lines, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Friday unveiled a new online tool to help Ohioans verify the reputations of businesses, and to help consumers steer clear of those with problematic pasts.

“This tool will allow Ohio consumers to verify, then trust,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, announcing the launch of the Consumer Protection Lawsuit Search, available now on the attorney general’s website.

The online tool lets consumers check if businesses and individuals have been sued by the State of Ohio for violating the state’s consumer protection laws.

The searchable database houses civil lawsuits and criminal indictments filed by the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Section and its Economic Crimes Unit since 2013. The database was developed in-house by Yost’s Information Technology Services and Consumer Protection sections.

Users of the search page also will find links to the office’s existing consumer complaint database and Online Public Inspection File, a database of court judgments and assurances of voluntary compliance resulting from consumer cases. Those databases store thousands of entries that can further aid consumers in making buying decisions.

Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.

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