Florida Consumer Fraud Attorney
There are several different kinds of fraud one may be the victim of. A common form is consumer fraud. Consumer fraud occurs when a business engages in unethical practices, often deceptive in nature, that can result in an individual suffering financial losses.
The most common targets of those committing consumer fraud are individuals who may not be mature or informed enough to know when they are being scammed. For example, targets often include college students who may not have the wherewithal or financial literacy to detect evidence of a fraud or scam. Fraudsters also target senior citizens who may not be in the loop on the latest scams being committed. However, this kind of fraud can affect any consumer.
What is Consumer Fraud?
When you hear the word fraud your first thought often goes to a hacker who steals your identity. However, consumer fraud is when a business conducts deceptive practices in order to take advantage of targets who are likely to be left with financial losses as a result of being the victims of fraud.
The types of deceptive behaviors that may qualify as examples of consumer fraud include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
- Making false promises to consumers
- Making inaccurate claims about products or services
- Making false claims about one’s identity or the nature of their business
Those are just a few examples. It’s worth noting, that new forms of consumer fraud are constantly emerging as scammers use new technologies.
The Federal Trade Commission Act is a consumer protection law that helps to protect consumers from these types of fraud. The FTC collects complaints made by consumers. They then conduct an investigation of those claims and will sue the company if it is found they broke the law.
However, the FTC is not the only party that can help with consumer fraud issues. While the FTC does play an important role in serving justice when scammers commit consumer fraud, in some instances, it can take a long time for enough complaints to be made about a company before the FTC will begin conducting an investigation. The investigation itself can also be a lengthy process.
Do you suspect you have been the victim of consumer fraud? If so, a nationwide consumer fraud attorney can also help you if you have been scammed by a business.
Common Types of Consumer Fraud
There are different types of fraud that fall under the consumer fraud umbrella. The eight most common types of fraud are as follows:
- Credit and Debit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Fake charities
- Debt collection fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Covid-19 scams
- Prize and lottery fraud
- Deceptive interest rate reduction fraud
There may be other frauds that fall under consumer fraud which is why it is important to discuss your circumstances with a consumer fraud attorney. In some instances, scams are so nuanced and complex that even after being victimized, the targets of these scams may not be entirely certain they have grounds to take legal action. If you have any reason to think you may have been the victim of consumer fraud, strongly consider reviewing your case with the experts at a nationwide consider fraud law firm. They can help you better understand what your legal options may be in these circumstances.
How You Can Detect Consumer Fraud
Consumer fraud is often detected too late. By the time a victim realizes they’ve been scammed, they may have already sustained financial losses.
Luckily, there are ways to detect fraud before becoming a victim. Warning signs indicating you may be the target of a scam include the following:
- Unexpected charges on your accounts
- Unreasonable denial of credit
- Debt collectors contacting you about purchases you did not make
- Notifications about the address, names, or password changes on accounts
- Receiving unexpected emails or texts from companies or government agencies requesting personal information or money
It is important to look for telltale signs that there may be consumer fraud present. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, you get a call about receiving a large sum of money only after you transfer funds to an account. There are often shady sellers online who will use similar scams to trick consumers out of their money. They may ask you to transfer or cash a check before ever sending you a product.
Some scammers also trick their targets into providing personal information or sending money by merely scaring them. For example, a scammer might send a fake email claiming to be a creditor collecting on a debt. The email might contain language designed to concern a target, suggesting they may face dire consequences if they wait to remedy the situation.
These are called phishing emails. Instead of accepting such an email or text as legitimate right away, someone who receives this type of message should contact the alleged sender directly (using contact information found through an online search, and not the contact information provided in the original message) to ask if it is genuine.
If you suspect fraud you can contact the FTC or visit their online resources to verify a potential scam. Again, you should also meet with a consumer fraud attorney. Working with a legal expert who specializes in these matters can help improve your chances of potentially recovering compensation for the financial losses you may have sustained as a result of being scammed.
Be aware that you are not merely helping yourself when you work with a lawyer to bring a scammer to justice. You’re also limiting the chances that other potential targets will be victims in the future. If a fraudster is held accountable for their actions, they will be less likely to repeat a scam again.
Contact a Consumer Fraud Attorney
Being tricked by a charity may be a major blow, you thought you were being a generous citizen and doing your part and in the end, you were tricked out of your hard-earned money. If you suspect you have been the victim of consumer fraud you need to contact our lawyer at 305-476-7400 to discuss your legal options.