How to Avoid Being a Victim of Consumer Fraud?

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If you have ever fallen victim to a scam no matter how small your loss is at the end of the day, you surely won’t feel at ease with yourself. And it will certainly be worse if you had to lose a lot to the scammers. While you will find people who can swear they can smell a fraud from a mile away, you will agree that there are always new schemes and tactics employed by fraudsters to unsuspecting members of the public. 

Although you do get the protection of the law against consumer fraud and can surely find an expert attorney that can help you in the event of a legal battle, you do want to try your best to avoid falling victim to a scam. Not sure what the term consumer fraud means and how exactly you are at risk? You will find more in the section below. 

What is Consumer Fraud?

Simply put, consumer fraud is a business practice that aims to deceive consumers to suffer losses either financially or otherwise. You can expect that any business that deals with the public should follow the right setup and stick to the legal dictates that guide their business affairs. And surely you can expect that with many people looking to take advantage of unsuspecting members of the public to carry out their nefarious business activities surely want to give your business a clean cloak to put on. 

This means that for any business owner, setting up the right way is important to ensure that they keep the consumers satisfied. You don’t want to have an outfit with a negative customer reputation as this could affect your chances of growth and success. Still, you want to make sure that you follow the right approach to setting up your business and carrying out your dealings with the clients and customers. The Federal Trade Commission Act is responsible for regulating the consumer protection law which fights the practices of fraudulent businesses. 

The FTC is responsible for collecting the complaints, carrying out investigations, and taking companies who are found wanting to the court. You will also find that there are different categories of federal laws that cater to different aspects of the consumers. Take for example those that focus on curtailing the efforts of fraudulent real estate companies. You will find that most people get swindled when it comes to renting an apartment, buying land or a house, or even taking a home loan. And you surely want to be careful when it comes to dealing with mortgages and large sum loans. 

Common Types of Consumer Fraud 

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While there are many different types of consumer fraud to look out for, you must note the common ones that you will surely encounter daily as you deal with individuals and businesses. Below are some of the common types of consumer fraud. 

Identity Theft 

This is common as you will find that many people have at one point in time had to deal with a case of stolen identity. This is when someone else uses your personal information to carry out business financial transactions on your behalf. The common process involves using your email, social security numbers, passwords, and credit card information to drain your bank account and steal your funds. Your identity could also be stolen to file a tax return or access your medical insurance. 

 Ideally, it could be easy to detect that your identity has been stolen as you will notice the withdrawal notification that you are certain wasn’t done by you. This could be in the form of withdrawals from your bank account, credit card withdrawals, and spending calls from the IRS about tax returns filed in your name and the likes. You surely will know something is amiss and surely want to act quickly to put a stop to further withdrawals from your account credit cards. This page has tips on how to avoid identity theft. 

Credit and Debit Card Fraud 

You will also find that credit card fraud is also top of the list when it comes to consumer fraud and if you use credit cards surely have heard about cases of fraud using credit cards. While you surely will find that owning credit and debit cards help make your life easy, you could be at risk of losing a lot if you are not careful with your card information. 

You also want to be careful about the websites you choose to shop on as you could also be at risk of losing your sensitive information to hackers if the website is not secure. Finding transactions in your statements that you are sure wasn’t carried out by you should alert you to credit card fraud. And you can quickly block the card from the bank or financial service provider and begin an investigation into the fraud. 

Fake Charities 

Fake charities are also a big way people use in swindling unsuspecting members of the public of their hard-earned money. Taking advantage of human sympathy is no doubt demeaning even to the extent that you will find that many businesses have evaded the authorities for years with their ability to run fake charities and non-governmental organizations that are nothing but a money-making scheme for the organizers. In the case you want to work with a charity, you want to make sure that you check for those that are set up legitimately and fighting for a positive cause. 

How to Avoid Being a Victim of Consumer Fraud 

You will need to be cautious with how you do business. For starters, you want to make sure to scrutinize any investment opportunity and make sure to work with professionals all the time. You will also need to avoid investment opportunities that sound too good to be true. This could be an interest rate that surely looks puzzling and dissimilarities in the business idea and agendas. Ensure to get written information about any business dealings and be sure to get the right third-party consents and eyewitnesses if possible to safeguard your interest. There is a lot you can do to avoid being a victim of consumer fraud. This link https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/stop-scams/ has more on some of the things you can do to avoid consumer fraud. 

Final Note 

If you surely don’t like being scammed want to try not to scam others. And in the case of consumer fraud want to make sure that you are careful when dealing with individuals and businesses alike. You will find the tips above to help you with learning about some of the common consumer frauds out there and how to stay safe.