Consumer Law in Baltimore, MD
Do you need a consumer law attorney in Maryland to fight for your rights and bring fraudsters to justice? We can match you with the right lawyer to help you reclaim your rights.
Common Types of Consumer Fraud in Maryland
Consumer fraud primarily refers to deceptive practices that can cause customers in Maryland to suffer financial, physical, or emotional injury. Fraudulent practices can also occur at the individual level, such as when someone falls victim to lottery scams. Consumer law refers to the regulations that define unlawful actions and how consumers can seek justice.
Sometimes, becoming a victim of consumer fraud in Maryland can also lead to criminal charges against you. For instance, it can be strenuous to clear your name after you donate to a charitable organization involved with money laundering.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently warned residents of Baltimore about prevalent romance scams being perpetrated in the city. These can be especially enticing around Valentine’s Day. Scammers create fake profiles online, lure in victims looking for relationships, and gain leverage over an individual. They will then proceed to use this leverage to manipulate and steal from them.
Many people are embarrassed about falling for a scam, and they suffer in silence. But, speaking up can help to bring the persons responsible to justice. Even when it does not, it helps spread awareness and stop other consumers from falling victim to the same fate.
What Types of Fraud are in Consumer Law?
If you suffered damages because of consumer fraud in Maryland, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Taking a closer look at the most common types of consumer fraud found under consumer law can help you determine if you have a legitimate claim.
This type of consumer fraud happens when a nefarious Maryland company or individual steals your personal information. They might steal your bank account information, Social Security number, full name, or credit card numbers. One of the most common identity theft methods is data mining.
Once an individual has your personal information, they can open credit cards or make fraudulent charges on existing ones. Some thieves will even open utility accounts in your name as a way to prove residency. After they can accomplish this task, they have even more options to apply for loans or credit cards. Sometimes identity thieves gain access to your bank account and drain all the funds that you have available. There are also reports of scams that access health insurance and place medical charges on the victim’s insurance. Proving that you are a victim of identity theft can be very complicated. Consequently, hiring a dedicated and experienced Maryland consumer law fraud lawyer is essential to proving your innocence.
Fake charities are difficult to spot because they use similar techniques that legitimate ones rely on to raise funds. That’s why it’s important for you to understand where your money is going before you decide to donate to an organization. The same is true when investing or purchasing goods and services.
You can identify if any Maryland organization is legitimate if they have registration in the state. Or, the IRS should verify their non-profit status. But, scammers can legitimately register an organization for illegal purposes. Take the time to research how your money gets used before investing in a business or donating to charity.
The Maryland Solicitations Act requires charities that solicit donations in Baltimore to register annually with the state. This registration is generally filed with the Maryland Secretary of State. Baltimore residents are encouraged to research any charity before donating, and to watch for red flags when encountering solicitation for donations. Aggressive language and bullying, the refusal to go into detail about the charity, and the refusal to accept any donations but cash are all red flags of which to be aware.
When it comes to products and services, looking up customer reviews can help. The more reviews a product or service has, the more likely it is a legitimate organization. However, people can buy these illegally. In fact, anyone can build a website or register an empty LLC in Maryland.
Defective Products and Services
Legitimate Maryland companies often create defective products and services. Some common issues are:
- Products that do not work as intended
- Products that have harmful design flaws
- Medications that do not mention all side effects
- Services that do not deliver on promises
Even when this is not intentional, consumers might become entitled to compensation for the damages caused. This circumstance is why we often hear of car manufacturers issuing recalls and repairs when they realize something has gone wrong.
The Baltimore Sun states that manufacturers in Baltimore, and throughout the state of Maryland, are under “strict liability” when it comes to faulty or defective products. Manufacturers are liable for damages caused by a defective product. However, you will have to show that you made no significant changes to the product after purchase. In addition, if strict liability does not apply to your claim, you can still file a claim for negligence. An experienced attorney in Baltimore can help you navigate this process and file your claim.
Maryland Consumer Protection Laws and How Consumer Law Works
The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 is arguably the most important consumer protection law in the United States. It establishes the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers from deceptive business practices. It does this not just for individual cases, but also to target monopolies.
The FTC’s work includes conducting investigations, collecting complaints, and filing lawsuits. In addition, other federal laws protect public consumers against deceptive transactions. These include the agriculture, real estate, food, and beverage industries. Maryland consumer laws also put measures in place to police false advertising and illegal debt collection practices.
Work With an Experienced Maryland Consumer Law Attorney
Working with a consumer fraud attorney in Maryland can help you understand your rights. The appropriate professional from our network of legal experts will help you understand the FTC guidelines. They will help you discover what types of complaints you can make against the organization that has committed fraud against you.
A qualified Maryland consumer fraud attorney will also guide you through working with law enforcement. The goal is to bring the fraudulent business practices against other customers and yourself to light. Get help and file a claim against the entity that committed consumer fraud against you. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Maryland state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!