Consumer Law in Tampa, FL

Do you need a consumer law attorney in Tampa, Florida 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 Tampa, Florida

Consumer fraud primarily refers to deceptive practices that can cause customers in Tampa to suffer financial, physical, or emotional injury. Fraudulent practices may also occur at the individual level. For instance, 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 Tampa, FL can also lead to criminal charges against you. As an example, it can be strenuous to clear your name after you donate to a charitable organization involved with money laundering.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) provides alerts for common scams victimizing the residents of Hillsborough County. Some of these scams include jewelry scams, Amazon scams, stimulus check scams, and coronavirus scams. Additionally, HCSO reported telephone scams targeting the elderly resulting in high-dollar incidents. For example, scammers claim a victim’s grandchild is in jail or at the hospital and needs cash immediately. In fact, scammers have advised victims to put between $10,000 to $30,000 in an envelope and give it to a “courier”. Tampa residents can report scam activity to HCSO at 813-247-8200.

Many people are embarrassed about falling for a scam, so they suffer in silence. But, speaking up can help to bring the persons responsible to justice. Even when it does not, it helps to spread awareness and stop other consumers from falling victim.

What Types of Fraud are in Consumer Law?

If you suffered damages because of consumer fraud in Tampa you might be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Learning about the most common types of consumer fraud found under law is the best place to start.

Identity Theft

This type of consumer fraud happens when a nefarious Tampa, FL 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 this “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. Once they can accomplish this task, they have even more options to apply for loans or credit cards.

Some 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 Tampa consumer law fraud lawyer is essential to proving your innocence.

Fake Organizations

Fake charities are difficult to spot. Often, they use the same techniques legitimate ones rely on to raise funds. That’s why it’s important for you to understand where your money is going, before you donate to an organization. The same is true when investing or purchasing goods and services.

You can identify if any Tampa, FL organization is legitimate if they have registration in the state. Or, the IRS should verify their non-profit status. But, scammers can legitimately register organizations for illegal purposes. Always take the time to research how your money gets used before investing in a business or donating to charity.

WTSP reported that the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office (HSAO) filed felony charges against the former CEO of Soaring Paws for pet insurance fraud. Previously, the CEO had already been convicted of defrauding donors to Soaring Paws. Specifically, he had paid personal expenses with donations that were meant to help fly abused animals to new homes. HSAO also stated that the fraudster is now set to serve 15 months in prison.

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 addition to this, anyone can build a website or register an empty LLC in Tampa, Florida.

Defective Products and Services

Legitimate Tampa, FL companies often create defective products and services. For example:

  • 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 be entitled to compensation for damages. This circumstance is why car manufacturers issue recalls and repairs when they realize something has gone wrong.

Florida courts adopted strict liability for products cases in West v Caterpillar in 1976. This means a Tampa manufacturer can be strictly liable for product defects that cause injury due to the ordinary use of the product. In this case, the plaintiff must prove that a defect was present in the product at the time the product left the defendant. They must also prove that the defect caused the injury. Under Florida statute, Tampa residents must file a product liability lawsuit within four years of the discovery of the injury.

Tampa, Florida 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 established the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers from deceptive business practices. It does this for individual cases and to target monopolies. Some of the FTC’s work includes conducting investigations, collecting complaints, and filing lawsuits. Additionally, other federal laws protect public consumers against deceptive transactions. These include the agriculture, real estate, food, and beverage industries. Tampa, Florida consumer laws also put measures in place to police false advertising and illegal debt collection practices.

Work With an Experienced Tampa, Florida Consumer Law Attorney

Working with a consumer fraud attorney in Tampa can help you understand your rights. The appropriate professional from our network of legal experts will help you understand the FTC guidelines. You’ll discover what types of complaints you can make against the organization that has committed fraud against you. A qualified Tampa, FL 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.

Are you looking to hire an experienced consumer law lawyer near you? 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 Florida state lines.

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