Consumer fraud is a crime that can happen to anyone. Whether it’s an individual or a business, consumer fraud happens when someone is tricked into buying something they don’t want or need. In this article, you’ll learn about 4 things you should know about consumer fraud so you can avoid being one of its victims!
It Has Many Forms
There are multiple forms of consumer fraud. It is important to keep your eyes open so you know when things are not right! Here are some of them:
- Bait and switch are when the salesperson advertises a product at an unbelievable price. When you get to the store they say that this specific one has been sold but another similar (but not as good) version is available for more money. They use tactics like holding things hostage until customers agree on paying more than what they initially agreed on, or hiding things where customers can’t see them unless they pay full retail value of the item.
- Inventory scams are when things seem too good to be true because they really are. Things like adding extra charges onto your bill make prices higher than expected (usually times this happens with online shopping).
- Phishing is when scammers pose as a trusted company to get you to give up your personal or financial information. Some things they might do are send emails that have typos and things that don’t line up right or call claiming there was suspicious activity on your account so they need verification of who you are by asking for things like credit card numbers.
The Best Way To Deal With It Is Through Legal Channel
When you’ve been a victim of consumer fraud, you should immediately report it and deal with it through legal channels. There are things that you should know about consumer fraud so that you can better understand your situation if this happens to you or someone close to you in the future.
It’s also smart to hire a lawyer that specializes in cyber crimes, and especially in consumer fraud because they can get you the best chance to get out on top. According to the scouts at www.counselhound.com, you should always look for attorneys with an excellent reputation and great track record. That’ll give you a chance to ensure that if things go south you won’t just be dealing with the consequences and that there will be someone to help you shoulder all of your problems.
The first thing to know about consumer fraud is what counts as “consumer fraud” in legal terms, which can include anything from defective products or services, false advertising claims, identity theft, and other things like these. The FTC even has a guide on how to protect yourself against cyber-fraud because this type of problem has become more prevalent over time.
The Most Common Victims Are Old People
Older people fall victim to consumer fraud more often than any other age group. That statistic is backed up by statistics from the National Consumers League (NCL), which tracks patterns of consumer complaints and reports on how to avoid becoming a victim yourself.
The NCL found that nearly half of all victims are people aged 60 or older, who lost a total of $16 billion dollars in 2015. An average loss per person was around one thousand six hundred dollars! The most common complaint reported to them was “unwanted/unsolicited products/services,” with over 900,000 incidents reported last year alone.
In addition, they also report receiving thousands of calls every day about things like being scammed while shopping online for goods and services, getting tricked into paying money through things like fake sweepstakes scams, and being tricked into thinking things were free then getting charged for them.
The Dangers Of Consumer Fraud
Consumer fraud is very common. Millions of people fall victim to it every year, and one in four Americans have been a target at some point. The dangers include things like identity theft, credit card fraud, and phone scams. Here are four things that people should know to protect themselves against consumer fraud.
Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without permission in an attempt to commit a crime or get money from you through things such as online purchases or bank transfers. This can have lasting repercussions.
Credit card fraud is another associated with being a target of customer fraud that comes from credit card skimming at gas pumps and ATMs. Skimmers collect personal information used later by thieves to make fraudulent purchases.
Phone scams and voice phishing happen when someone calls you, typically claiming to be from a company that you know or do business with, in order to get you to provide things such as a credit card number.
All of these scams end up similarly, with you losing a lot of money. That’s why you need to be careful and report the fraud as soon as you notice it.
Consumer fraud is dangerous to your bank account and identity. There are many types and you’ll need legal help to deal with them. Also, warn your elders to be careful since they fall victim to these scams more often. Know all the dangers and never let your guard down!