Sites by Subject · Consumer Information

Research Databases

Gale Legal Forms
Thousands of Ohio-specific and national legal forms spanning a variety of common concerns (bankruptcy, divorce, employment, landlord tenant, living wills, power of attorney, taxes, etc.). Legal definition and attorney directories are also available.
Medline
Authoritative information on clinical medicine, dentistry, education, experimental medicine, nursing, nutrition, pathology, psychiatry, and toxicology. Created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
NetWellness
Nonprofit consumer health site that draws upon information created and evaluated by health care professionals at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, and Case Western Reserve University medical centers.

General Sites

Annual Credit Report
Use this site to obtain free credit reports from the three reporting agencies. You may request copies online, by phone or by mail.
Better Business Bureau
Check up on a business, read consumer alerts, or find your local office.
Consumer Action Website
This site from the Federal Citizen Information Center provides information to be a better consumer in areas such as housing, health care, credit, car buying, insurance, TV, and travel.
Consumer World
The best directory of consumer-oriented links on the Web.
DMA Choice
Provides guidelines for removing yourself from a host of marketing lists.
Epinions
Epinions provides consumer reviews, in-depth product evaluations, and pricing and availability at rated online merchants. Consumers are compensated for consistently writing quality reviews that help others make decisions.
Federal Citizen Information Center
View for free or order low-cost government consumer guides issued by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Federal Trade Commission - Consumer Protection
Contains articles and advice on avoiding scams and rip-offs and offers tips on a variety of consumer topics.
GreenerChoices.org
Practical advice for being a more environmentally friendly consumer. Product reviews, information about large scale environmental issues, and tips for reading food and fish labels. From Consumer Reports.
International Cemetery and Funeral Association
A nonprofit association of cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories and monument retailers that offers informal mediation of consumer complaints through its Cemetery Consumer Service Council. Provides information and advice under "Consumer Resources."
Internet Crime Complaint Center
This is an official site of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (IC3), where you can send criminal or civil complaints about Internet crime, and have them officially investigated.
National Consumer League's Fraud Center
Report telemarketing, Internet and other kinds of fraud. Read about the most common types of fraud and learn how to protect yourself.
Ohio Attorney General - Consumer Protection
Allows you to file a consumer complaint online or to print the full text of consumer pamphlets on topics such as Elder Fraud, Crime Prevention, and Ohio's Lemon Law. Victims of foreclosure fraud or predatory lending can call the Ohio Attorney General's help line at 1-877-244-6446.
Ohio Department of Insurance
In-depth shopper's guide on motor vehicle, life, health, long-term car, and medicare insurances, as well as information on fraud annuities, etc.
Ohio Treasurer of State - Fraud, Theft, and Scams
Provides tips to avoid fraud, theft, and scams.
OhioHeretoHelp.com
Information and resources from public and private entities to help Ohioans search for a job, find education and training opportunities, and learn about other services that might be available to them.
Plain Dealer Scam Finder
Compiled by Sheryl Harris, the Plain Dealer's popular consumer affairs columnist, this site helps you identify, fight, and report consumer scams.
United States Food and Drug Administration
Legal and consumer information on food, cosmetics, tobacco and medical products.
Urban Legends Reference Page
Also known as Snopes, this site tells whether or not urban legends are true.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Use this website to search for recalls from among 15,000 monitored consumer products or to report unsafe products.
U.S. News & World Report
News, current events, and rankings of schools, hospitals and more.
Viewpoints
A website that lists reviews of products, services, and institutions contributed by consumers for consumers. People share their experiences by writing reviews, posting in blogs, developing how to guides, participating in discussion boards and contributing and voting on ideas.

Automobiles

Autobytel
Resources and advice for those interested in purchasing a new or used vehicle.
Carfax
Carfax provides computerized background checks on a used vehicle's history. The Vehicle History Reports are designed to identify problems and help consumers avoid buying problem cars.
Edmunds
Online version of the popular print publication provides information on new and used cars. Includes prices, ratings, road tests on new cars, and information on incentives, rebates and leases.
FuelEconomy
This website sponsored by the U.S. EPA allows you to compare and contrast the fuel economy of automobiles. It gives estimated fuel costs per year of models dating back to 1985.
Gas Buddy
Put in your zip code and find the cheapest gasoline available.
The Gold Book
Online price guide for classic and collectible cars.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Crash test information and safety ratings.
IntelliChoice Online Car Ratings
Consumer information and ratings for cars. Includes information on pricing, ownership costs, specifications, safety, standard features and available options.
Kelley Blue Book
Gives pricing for new and used cars, motorcycles, watercraft, and snowmobiles. Includes a payment calculator and new car reviews.
NADA Guidebooks
Gives low, average, and high retail values of used boats, RVs, motorycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, collectible and special interest cars, and used cars. Dates of coverage vary.
National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
Provides free retail price values for used cars, motorcycles, boats, and RV's back to 1989. Offers news, legislation, consumer articles, and dealerships near you.
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Advice for consumers buying cars and title information.
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Safety and recall information.
Yahoo! Autos
A good site for finding the basic specification of a vehicle you may be interested in purchasing.

Foreclosure & Refinancing

Avoiding Foreclosure
Information on avoiding foreclosure from HUD, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Facing The Mortgage Crisis
CET, WVXU, and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have created a portal of resources for people who are facing—or think they may face—foreclosure. Includes a documents checklist for foreclosure assistance, local resources for homeowners, an online forum, and phone numbers of local agencies.
Federal Trade Commission - Foreclosure Facts for Consumers
Provides information about foreclosure rescue scams and how to report foreclosure fraud. Offers advice for those having trouble making their mortgage payments.
Hope Now
A government-organized group of counselors, investors, and lenders offering resources and assistance. Non-profit, HUD-approved credit counselors are available.
Internal Revenue Service - Home Foreclosure
Provides a Q&A on home foreclosure and debt cancellation.
Making Homes Affordable
Homeowners can follow a questionnaire to figure out whether or not they are eligible for a refinanced of modified loan. Provides a list of HUD-approved counselors.
Ohio Attorney General - Consumer Protection
Allows you to file a consumer complaint online or to print the full text of consumer pamphlets on topics such as Elder Fraud, Crime Prevention, and Ohio's Lemon Law. Victims of foreclosure fraud or predatory lending can call the Ohio Attorney General's help line at 1-877-244-6446.
Ohio Housing Finance Agency
Provides information and resources to help avoid foreclosure.
Ohio Save the Dream Program
Explains the foreclosure process and how to proceed if you are having problems. Also provides links to free legal assistance.
Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio residents facing foreclosure who need free legal help can call the Ohio State Bar Association at 1-800-282-6556.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Provides HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in Ohio and information on avoiding foreclosure.

Health

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs
Recommends and discusses medicines based on prices and effectiveness.
ConsumerLab.com
Consumers and healthcare professionals can find the results of independent tests of health-related products here.
Foodsafety.gov
The U.S. government's access point for food safety information and resources.
Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati: Affordable Care Act
Consumer-friendly information about the what the Affordable Care Act means for individuals and businesses.
Healthgrades.com · Health Care Ratings
Site offering Health Care Report Cards, ratings of hospitals and physicians on procedures and diagnosis at over 5000 U.S. hospitals.
National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine provides free access to Medline, which contains over 11 million article references to more than 4300 biomedical journals, and to MedlinePlus, which is composed of carefully selected web resources on over 400 health topics for consumers and professionals.
Self-Help Group Sourcebook Online
Directory of every type of national, international, model and online self-help support group.
Tox Town
Interactive guide to toxic chemicals and environmental health issues in everyday locations. Some resources are available in Spanish.

Home Improvement

Sites by Subject · Home & Garden
Directory of home improvement, interior design, and gardening websites.

Real Estate

Assisted Living On-line.com
An online directory allows users to find facilities in their specific area. Listings include brief descriptions and contact information.
Homebuyer's Fair
Advice for buying a home and relocating, including articles and interactive calculators.
Ohio Council for Home Care & Hospice
Provides consumer advocacy and information for home care and hospice in Ohio. Includes informational guides and links to related topics.
Ohio Rental Housing Locator
Directory of affordable, accessible rental housing in Ohio. Includes apartments with special features for the elderly and people with disabilities.
A Place For Mom
A national elder care referral service that provides comprehensive resources for senior housing and elder care options to seniors and families in need. Provides information about Alzheimer's care, assisted living, home care, nursing homes, residential care homes, and retirement centers.
Realtor Home Search
Official site by the National Association of realtors. Allows searching by community, size of home and other features.
Rent Net
Apartment listings across the U.S. Also lists storage services and temporary furnished suites.
Southwestern Ohio Association of Adult Day Services
Adult Day Services serves clients with physical, mental or emotional impairments needing supervision, increased social opportunities, assistance with personal care or other daily living activities. SOAADS has 27 center members in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Ohio and Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky.
U.S. Postal Service - Change of Address
The official change of address form from the US Post Office.
Visiting Nurses Association of America
Supports, promotes, and advances the nation's network of Visiting Nurse Agencies who provide cost-effective and compassionate home healthcare to the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Services include advocacy, education, and collaboration with other service providers.

Scams and Fraud

Cincinnati Better Business Bureau
Provides access to business and charity reports, guidelines for handling disputes and filing complaints, and consumer/business alerts, tips, and information.
Federal Citizen Information Center - Scams and Frauds
Listing of consumer scams, frauds, and consumer abuse items in the news. Provides information on filing a complaint and lists sites to report scams or frauds being committed against consumers.
Federal Trade Commission - Consumer Protection
Contains articles and advice on avoiding scams and rip-offs and offers tips on a variety of consumer topics.
Federal Trade Commission - Foreclosure Facts for Consumers
Provides information about foreclosure rescue scams and how to report foreclosure fraud. Offers advice for those having trouble making their mortgage payments.
A Guide For Seniors : Protecting Yourself Against Investment Fraud
With some basic understanding of how scam artists work, you can avoid fraud and protect your hard-earned money. Prepared by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Identity Theft Protection for the Military Community
Resources and information from the Federal Trade Commission to protect against identity theft.
Internet Crime Complaint Center
This is an official site of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (IC3), where you can send criminal or civil complaints about Internet crime, and have them officially investigated.
National Consumer League's Fraud Center
Report telemarketing, Internet and other kinds of fraud. Read about the most common types of fraud and learn how to protect yourself.
National Consumer Protection Week
Find out about local events, resources, and information that provide consumer education to protect against scams and frauds. Includes a blog that offers tips and access to consumer protection experts.
Ohio Attorney General - Consumer Protection
Allows you to file a consumer complaint online or to print the full text of consumer pamphlets on topics such as Elder Fraud, Crime Prevention, and Ohio's Lemon Law. Victims of foreclosure fraud or predatory lending can call the Ohio Attorney General's help line at 1-877-244-6446.
Ohio Treasurer of State - Fraud, Theft, and Scams
Provides tips to avoid fraud, theft, and scams.
Plain Dealer Scam Finder
Compiled by Sheryl Harris, the Plain Dealer's popular consumer affairs columnist, this site helps you identify, fight, and report consumer scams.
Social Security Online - Fraud Hotline
Provides guidelines and information for reporting fraud, waste, and abuse within the Social Security Administration's programs and operations.
United States Department of Justice - Fraud
Provides information about identity theft and identity fraud and tips to avoid becoming a victim. Also provides information about internet and telemarketing fraud.
United States Postal Inspection Service - Mail Fraud
Provides information about mail fraud schemes including employment fraud, fraud against seniors, sweepstakes and lottery fraud, telemarketing fraud, and home repair fraud.

Shopping

CNET
CNET has paid technicians who review products and help with online tech support. They specialize in computer and other hi tech products like cell phones, televisions and games.
Consumer Reports
Provides product ratings, information, and articles for non-subscribers. More detailed rating articles and interactive features are available for subscribers of the site.
Consumer Search
ConsumerSearch is a publishing company owned by the New York Times. They try to pinpoint the top-rated products, by scanning commercial review sources, which include computer magazines, CNet, and other published sources. The reviews are rated for credibility, expertise of the reviewer, and the methodology of testing (i.e. did they take the product apart and test it)? It’s not as useful for price comparisons.
Coupon Cabin
Coupon Cabin has free coupon downloads, and you can look for deals by store or by product. Coupons can be emailed to you from this site every Monday.
Deal Catcher
Deal Catcher offers printable coupons and a link to a price comparison site.
Fat Wallet
Fat Wallet lists cash back and coupon offers from hundreds of stores. The cash back offers are rebates that require registration so funds can be deposited to your Fat Wallet account. The site also has an extensive user forum for comments on deals, products, service, etc.
Overstock.com
Overstock.com contracts with name brand merchants to sell their excess inventory at a discount. It seems to help if you find out the manufacturer's suggested retail price first, to see if it’s a good deal or not. Includes customer reviews.
Price Grabber
Price Grabber lets you compare prices on a wide variety of products, but also has consumer reviews of the vendors and products, and links to professional reviews of the product.
Priceline.com
Purchase hotel reservations, airline tickets, etc. by naming your price.
Retail Me Not
Retail Me Not has the secret codes from various retailers that you can enter for discounts. You can search by product or by retailer.
Safe Shopping
An informational site created by the American Bar Association to help Internet users become more informed about shopping online.
Shopzilla
Shopzilla lets you compare prices at online stores, and evaluate those stores on factors like fast delivery and customer support. This site covers a very wide range of products. Consumer product reviews are very short with occassional links connecting to professional reviews.
Smart Shopping At-A-Glance
Offers advice about online shopping, including comparison shopping, discounts, and shipping costs.

Utilities

Energy Star
Get the latest on energy-saving products for home or business, from the EPA and the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Provides qualifications for the federal tax credits for energy-efficient products or renewable energy systems for your home.
HEAP Hotline for Ohio
Home Energy Assistance Program forms and information are here. You can also call their toll-free number, 1-800-282-0880.
Ohio Consumers' Counsel
Provides utility-related information and helps Ohioans resolve problems with their utility companies, including representing consumer interests in legal cases.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Compare electric and natural gas utility rates or get advice on buying phone service.