Examples of Consumer Fraud
Looking at examples of consumer fraud can help you understand whether or not your consumer rights have been violated. Consumer fraud is defined as any business practice that is knowingly misleading or fraudulent in nature. Keep reading to review common examples of consumer fraud.
False Advertising and Consumer Fraud
False advertising is one of the most common forms of consumer fraud. Such fraud often results when misleading statements are made in an advertisement in an attempt to over-hype a product or service. For example, if a LASIK service guarantees 20/20 vision, and a customer’s vision is only 20/30 following a procedure, then this could be considered false advertising.
Unfair Pricing and Consumer Fraud
Consumer fraud often relates to pricing issues. For example, any instance where overcharging of advertised pricing occurs might be considered consumer fraud. Additionally, concealing an additional fee (such as shipping, service charge, etc.) without expressly notifying a customer of the fee beforehand is considered consumer fraud. Due this, pricing and other claims in advertisements are often accompanied by “fine print” stipulations that indicate any additional pricing requirements.
Unfair Terms and Conditions and Consumer Fraud
In some cases, an unscrupulous business may trick you into agreeing to unfair terms and conditions. Sometimes, such an agreement is requested prior to the completion of a sale. In such cases where the terms are deemed unfair, a customer may have legal rights to file a claim against the corporation. Since sensitive personal data is often related to the terms and conditions of a service, this type of consumer fraud often relates to identity theft. To minimize the chances for becoming a victim of such fraud, it is recommended you read the terms of agreement prior to agreeing to them.
Safety Issues and Consumer Fraud
Examples of consumer fraud occasionally relate to the safety of a product or service. If a retailer has reason to believe an item may be unsafe, yet chooses to sell the item anyway without advertising potential harm, then this may be considered consumer fraud. It is for this reason that choking hazards are required on some toys and some food products require the announcement that an item has been manufactured in a factory that contains peanuts (a common allergy trigger).