Florida Regulators Provide Consumer Protection Tips During Hurricane Awareness Week
On May 2nd, 2022, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried released consumer protection tips and anti-fraud guidance as part of National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Along with the FDACS, Commissioner Fried is warning consumers to watch out for scams in the coming months. Here, our Miami deceptive & unfair trade practices attorney highlights the consumer safety tips from Florida regulators and explains your rights if you believe that you were defrauded.
Prepare Yourself: Four Consumer Protection Tips for Hurricane Season
Unfortunately, bad actors may try to take advantage of the chaos caused by a natural disaster. The immediate aftermath of a hurricane, tropical storm, or other natural disaster is often a high risk time for business and consumer fraud. Florida regulators offer the following four tips to help consumer protect themselves against fraud in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm:
- Always Do Research: Trying to get a home or business repaired after a natural disaster is stressful. Still, it is important to make sure that you are working with reliable contractors. Always do your background research on anyone before letting them do work. Get business identification and proof of insurance.
- Get Multiple Estimates on Work: One estimate from a contractor is rarely sufficient. As a general rule, you should get three or more estimates for any major repair project.
- Obtain, Review, and Save Contracts: A written contract is a must with a commercial transaction. Make sure you carefully review the agreement and save the contract. It serves as the basis of your rights and any future claim against the contractor.
- Avoid Paying in Cash: Finally, you should always avoid paying contractors in cash. A check or credit card is strongly recommended. Further, the last payment should typically not be made until the work is actually completed as stated in the terms of the agreement.
Defrauded or Misled? You May Have an FDUTPA Claim
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a vitally important consumer protection law. It allows individuals and businesses in our state to hold parties legally liable for losses (financial damages) caused by a misleading, unjust, or otherwise improper commercial practice. If you believe that you were defrauded or materially misled by a business or other commercial entity, you may be entitled to compensation through an FDUTPA claim. The FDUTPA allows plaintiffs to recover for actual losses. An experienced Florida FDUTPA lawyer can help you take action to protect your rights and interests.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With an FDUTPA Lawyer in Southeastern Florida
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our South Florida deceptive trade practices attorneys have the professional expertise needed to protect the rights and interests of our clients. If you suffered losses because of a deceptive or unfair commercial practice, you may be entitled to compensation through an FDUTPA claim. Call us now to arrange your confidential case review. From our office in Miami and our office in West Palm Beach, we serve communities throughout the entire surrounding area.