Every so often, there are fraudsters planning ways on how to access people’s financial information. While most fraudsters target college students or senior citizens, any consumer may be at risk. Sometimes you may also have a person sell you stock with misrepresented value; he/she may be committing investment fraud. The law encourages consumers to report any activity they believe to be unfair or deceptive. This may not be possible if consumers are not aware of the information they need or what to look out for to protect themselves from such scams. The scammer makes the consumer believe they are participating in a legal and valid business transaction, only to find they have been defrauded. If you are in such a situation, you have the right to file a complaint about fraud.
Understanding Consumer Fraud
Consumer fraud involves illegal activities such as tricks or deceits executed against an individual or a group of consumers to rob them of their financial assets. This results in financial loss or even physical harm. Thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that ensures consumers are protected from financial fraud or scams.
Federal and state laws also contain information that is used to enforce consumer protection from such illegal activities. There are so many types of consumer fraud. The most common investigated include:
- Identity theft: This is a serious crime and occurs when your personal information, such as credit card numbers, is used without your permission. Your personal information may be obtained through data mining. The information is later used to assume your identity and access your bank account and help fraudsters drain existing funds or take loans on your behalf.
- Debt elimination fraud: If you find someone promising to make you debt free and claim to have a modest upfront, this may be a fraudster. You may have an additional debt to pay, and this may damage your credit rating. Worse enough, you may lose your property or even face legal action.
- Advance fee fraud: This fraud may come in many forms. For example, you may have a fraudster offering you an opportunity to participate in a seemingly special deal. Additionally, the scam may be in form of promises to send you products, services, or even money.
- Phishing: This happens through the internet such as receiving emails indicating you have bank accounts issues. It may also be in form of pop up messages claiming that you have a refund waiting. Some of these messages are so cunning such as to be from legitimate companies.
- Deceptive interest rate reduction robocalls: The scammers guarantee a reduction in your credit card interest rate. In the process, they ask for personal information, which they later use for their fraudulent activities such as identity theft.
If you’re a victim of consumer fraud, you need to seek an experienced consumer protection lawyer to file a complaint. You may find solace in Watson Burns, PLLC, who can help you pursue the complaint and help you get back on your feet.
Why Most Individuals Fall Victim Of Consumer Fraud
The internet seems to be a hotbed for the smallest illegitimate frauds or scams. This is because the scammers appear professional and can reach quite a good number of consumers. There are many reasons why one may fall victim to consumer fraud to these scams. Some of these include:
- Some consumers lack relevant information about whatever is being offered as a product or a service.
- Most of the consumers are too busy and not on guard to the deceptive business practices surrounding them.
- Others consumers are entirely naive and tend to believe that the “deceitful business” will flourish and make them rich.
- Others have impaired decision making either due to mental health disorders
Anyone can fall victim to the loan promises, phony business opportunities such as “get rich quick” and fail to see the dangers ahead. One scammer target is to get the credit card number or any other identifying information such as Social Security number and perform the fraudulent activities. Therefore, it pays to have the right information on how to detect such scams.
Why Hire A Consumer Protection Lawyer?
Initiating a consumer complaint is not as easy as it may seem. As a victim, one needs to identify the recipient for relief. Without the right information, a consumer may get it hard to get the compensation they deserve. If you believe in being a victim of consumer fraud, you may consider looking for a consumer protection attorney to advocate for your rights. The law is clear on how consumers should be protected from anyone engaging in unfair or deceptive business practices. You can contact one of the lawyers at Watson Burns, PLLC, to preserve your rights and help you get compensated. A seasoned lawyer who has dealt with consumer fraud cases can maneuver in any case and come up with a successful claim.