What are Some Common Examples of Consumer Fraud?
Businesses in virtually any industry can violate laws that exist to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive trade practices. Consumer fraud can occur in a variety of contexts, but generally involves a business practice that is fraudulent or misleading in nature and is regulated by federal law and Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Individuals who are the victims of consumer fraud can often obtain significant compensation for the losses that they sustain as a result of the fraud. For this reason, individuals who believe that they or their business has been the victims of consumer fraud should contact a West Palm Beach consumer fraud attorney as soon as possible to retain legal representation.
False or Deceptive Advertising
False or deceptive advertising is one of the most common reasons that consumer fraud complaints are filed. While businesses are legally entitled to advertise their product in a positive light and engage in a certain degree of “puffery,” such advertising has the potential to cross over into consumer fraud if it makes false or misleading statements to consumers.
Allegations of consumer fraud often arise in the way that businesses price the goods or services that they sell. A common example of the way in which unfair pricing schemes occur is selling a product for a different price than advertised. In addition, concealing certain costs associated with a purchase, such as shipping or processing costs, can also constitute consumer fraud.
The Sale of Unsafe Products
Another common context in which consumer fraud allegations may arise is in the sale of defective products. If the company selling the products was aware that the products being sold were somehow defective, it may give rise to a consumer fraud claim.
The explosive growth of Internet-based commerce in recent years has given fraudsters new opportunities to victimize consumers in many different ways. Some of these Internet fraud schemes are simply updated versions of scams that have been around for decades, while others are newer forms of fraud that rely on new technology in order to effectuate. A common example of an Internet fraud is the now-infamous “Nigerian Prince” scam in which an email indicates to the victim that assets that are being held in a foreign bank account can only be released through an a payment or with information regarding the consumer’s bank account. Of course, there are no real assets and the scheme is simply an attempt to trick the victim into providing money or information that can allow the fraudster to access the victim’s bank account.
Unfair terms and conditions
Sometimes, businesses may include unfair or terms and conditions into otherwise standard agreements. Often this kind of fraud involves the use of personal information in a way to which the consumer would not have agreed had he or she been aware of the conditions.
Contact a West Palm Beach consumer fraud lawyer today to discuss your case
Consumers who are affected by fraudulent business practices are often able to recover significant compensation. To schedule a consultation with one of the experienced West Palm Beach consumer fraud lawyers of Pike & Lustig, LLP, call our office today at 561-291-8298.