Don’t Let Consumer Fraud Ruin Your Future
When businesses engage with consumers, they enter into an agreement to provide certain goods and services for compensation. Businesses tell consumers what to expect from them, either explicitly or implicitly. However, there are times when they are unable to fulfill their end of the bargain due to factors outside of their control. If they are using deceptive business practices to intentionally mislead consumers, their consumers can suffer a financial loss. Any act that intentionally defrauds or misleads a consumer for the company’s benefit, including false promises or omission of key information, is considered consumer fraud.
Common Types Of Fraud
Fraud can occur in any type of business transaction, but certain scenarios are more common than others, including:
- Insurance scams
- Defective products
- Financial services
- Unauthorized billing
Businesses often make big promises to customers to get them to buy what they are selling. Whether it is a product or a scheme, businesses that guarantee certain results and then do not deliver can be accused of fraud. Some of the most common fraud complaints include weight-loss products, investment products, work-from-home schemes and prize promotions. While, in some cases, losses may come as a surprise to both the consumers and the business itself, some businesses understand they can not deliver on their promises and are therefore acting unlawfully.
Perhaps the most insidious of these scams are promises of debt relief. Consumers who are already facing financial difficulty, due to credit card debt, medical bills or mortgages, are promised a solution to their troubles, only to find themselves in deeper trouble than before. People who are suffering from financial difficulty are vulnerable to these types of scams.
Hidden Fees Can Misrepresent Information
Consumers are often the victim of undisclosed fees when using certain financial products or subscription services. Services such as cellphone networks, internet, cable television or utilities may be costing more than anticipated, and consumers may not realize it until they examine their bills closely. Credit cards and banking products can also carry fraudulent fees, such as overdraft charges or penalties. It is unlawful for businesses to charge fees that were not agreed upon or deliberately hidden in complex contract language.
Unfortunately, consumer fraud is a common problem. In their most recent Consumer Fraud Survey in 2013, the Federal Trade Commission identified 25.6 million Americans who had suffered from consumer fraud, making up about 10.8% of the adult population in the U.S. As technology evolves, fraud is also becoming more difficult to spot; seniors are the prime target for many scams, but individuals aged 65 to 74 were less likely to self-identify as fraud victims in the survey than other age groups.
Victims of consumer fraud can pursue legal action to recover their losses. Proving consumer fraud can be challenging; it is not enough to show that a loss occurred, and plaintiffs must also establish that the loss was a result of the business’s unlawful actions. An experienced consumer fraud lawyer can look at a case from all sides and obtain justice for any wrongs that occurred.
Learn More About Your Options; Call Today
The Philadelphia consumer fraud lawyers at the Harty Law Group have successfully represented clients in complex consumer fraud cases and consumer contract litigation. Armed with the latest technology, our legal team will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine if fraud occurred, and we will provide the knowledge and resources to get you the best possible outcome. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 267-383-3899 or contact us online to review your case.