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Gary Shipman
Gary Shipman
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Don't Be a Victim of Consumer Fraud

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After every natural disaster, there are those that seek to take advantage of the pain of others. Peddlers of $5,000.00 generators (whose cost is less than $1,000.00) have been criminal prosecuted, and no one would expect otherwise.

The United States is currently in the midst of an economic disaster of monumental proportions, and prior to the storm the "peddlers" (the corporate scam artists) were already at work lining the pockets of Corporate America, and those practices have continued after the disaster overhwhelmed the Country. There’s no National Sheriff to arrest anyone, but there are powerful statutory remedies in each State to combat systemic consumer fraud practices.

Most States have statutes that prohibit conduct that is "unfair" or "deceptive", modeled after Congressional legislation enacted in the 1960’s that empowers the Federal Trade Commission to combat these practices. These State statutes give consumers a "private" cause of action against those who violate the prohibition against unfair and deceptive trade practices, with statutory penalties for treble damages for violators. These statutes apply to virtually any activity that touches upon or affects commerce, with the exception of learned professions, like doctors, engineers and lawyers.

If you have been a victim of consumer fraud, don’t be a victim. First, research the available remedies in your State. Each State’s Attorney General maintains an office that deals with consumer fraud, and can offer you information about your available remedies. Second, talk to a lawyer. While your particular circumstance may not warrant litigation, you will know what alternatives that you may have. Consumer litigation is a speciality, so talk to a lawyer with a background in this area. Typically, there is no charge for talking to them.