Consumer Fraud is Everywhere. Don’t Be a Victim.
Consumer Fraud is activity involving trickery or deception against a purchaser of goods or services that results in financial harm or loss.
Consumer Fraud can occur in various scenarios. The contractor who takes money to replace a residential deck and leaves the job half way through after receiving all of his money. False advertising for a product or service that turns out not to be as advertised. The used car dealer who sells the car with fake certifications (false odometer statement or inspection sticker).
Consumer Fraud can also take the form of a for-profit school promising incoming students a certain certification, the school accepting tuition in the form of government student loan money and then not providing the promised certification, but rather, a different certification with a lesser earning potential. This is the classic “bait and switch.”
Consumers are victimized by fraudulent schemes because their vulnerability results from a lack of information about the service, contractor or product being offered. People are often too busy, naive or trusting and don’t look into the background or history of the service, contractor or product at issue. Google reviews are an efficient and free way to see if the entity you’re about to get involved with has had any issues with consumers in the past.
Your best defense against being the victim of consumer fraud is to know as much as possible about the person, company or product before you commit and sign the contract or pay the money. Consult websites from the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, American Bar Association, American Medical Association or any other regulatory body you can think of that may have some connection to the product, person or service you are investigating.
And always remember: Buyer Beware!