Florida Leads The Nation In Consumer Fraud Complaints
The Palm Beach Post reports that Florida, once again, has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in fraud complaints. In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 300,000 consumer fraud complaints from Florida residents. The data is clear: business and consumer fraud remain serious problems in the state. If you have been the victim of business or consumer fraud, contact an experienced West Palm Beach Fraud attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Florida Law: What is Fraud
Fraud occurs in a wide variety of ways. According to the FTC report, debt collection issues, identity theft and imposter scams were the most common reasons for Florida consumer fraud complaints. But, there are many other types of consumer fraud occurring in the state as well. Fraud relating to automobile scams, catalog sales scams, internet vendor misrepresentation, fake lotteries, and phony telephone marketing are all on the FTC’s consumer complaint list. The elements of consumer fraud and business fraud are fairly similar. You likely have been a victim of fraud, if:
- A person made a false statement in relation to a material fact;
- The person was aware that the statement was false;
- The person was attempting to induce action from you with their false statement;
- You did act on the false information, and
- You suffered real harm.
What Should Fraud Victims Do?
- Document everything: Victims of consumer fraud should always record and keep all relevant information. Unfortunately, many perpetrators become very difficult to track down once their bad actions have been discovered. You will help your case a lot if you can keep the names, the phone numbers and any other contact information associated with your fraud claim. Further, you should get records of all fraudulent financial interactions you had with the other party.
- Report the fraud: It is always a good idea to report any fraud, or scams, to relevant state and federal authorities. The Federal Trade Commision and the Florida Office of the Attorney General allow consumers to report fraud through online complaint forms. By reporting the fraud to the authorities, you can increase the odds that the fraud will be stopped and that the perpetrators will be tracked down. This can help your case, and can help protect other innocent victims.
- Seek legal assistance: While the authorities may be able to take action against the fraudster, only an experienced consumer fraud attorney can help you recover full and fair compensation for your losses. You should always speak to an attorney in regards to your fraud claim. An attorney can comprehensively review your case and help you determine exactly what you can do next to recover damages.
Contact An Experienced West Palm Beach Business And Consumer Fraud Attorney
At Pike & Lustig, LLP our attorneys have extensive experience fighting on behalf of the victims of both business and consumer fraud. Contact us at our West Palm Beach office today to learn more about what we can do to help you. We proudly serve clients throughout South Florida; including in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs.