Have you ever thought to yourself, what is the Consumer Fraud Act? Every state in the union has its own Consumer Fraud Act imposed to protect consumers from illegal practices from companies that provide services or sell goods. The details of each law vary from state to state but there are a few common aspects that are unified through the Federal Trade Commission which works with cease and desist orders for large corporations that utilized unfair practices.
What is the Federal Trade Commission? The Federal Trade Commission is manned by five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States. They are also approved and suggested by members of the Senate and serve seven year terms. The commission cannot have more than three people from the same political party at a time and the commissioners may not have employment or be involved with any other company during their term on the commission for ethical reasons to keep the Consumer Fraud Act legitimate.
How Does the Commission Protect Consumers from Fraud? The commission covers all areas of consumer rights besides just goods and includes the health care industry, education, and the environment. Fraud and breach of contract are notoriously difficult to prove without documentation and the commission has a location on their website for consumers to file complaints if they have been wronged such as not receiving services and receiving grossly misrepresented goods.
The Consumer Fraud Acts, which are upheld by the Trade Commission, work with consumers to protect them from false advertising claims being made by a company about a product or service. They also have guides available that detail illegal business practices such as deceptive pricing and bait advertising. which is where an advertiser is displaying an enticing product they have no intention of selling and then switch the product with a different product.
The Federal trade commission encourages consumers to do their homework before making any purchases. Make sure you are familiar with the company you are going to do business with. Are they identified by the Better Business Bureau? Do they have complaints filed against them?
Familiarize yourself with the guides on the Federal Trade Commission’s website to help make informed decisions. If you find yourself to be a victim of fraud or deception there are forms on the federal site and you should also contact your state’s Department of Consumer Protection to review the local Consumer Fraud Act.