Consumer Law in Yakima, WA
Do you need a consumer law attorney in Yakima, Washington 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 Yakima, Washington
Consumer fraud primarily refers to deceptive practices that can cause customers in Yakima 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 Yakima, WA 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 Washington Attorney General’s Office investigates and prosecutes consumer fraud. In addition, they provide information about some of the more common scams targeting Yakima residents. One tactic is sweepstakes and lottery scams. Scammers call with news that you won a cash prize or free vacation. Then, they ask for your bank account information to make a deposit or tell you that you must pay fees. Other scammers may claim to be with the IRS or law enforcement. They insist that you owe taxes or have a warrant for your arrest. The goal is to scare you into giving them money.
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 Yakima 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.
This type of consumer fraud happens when a nefarious Yakima, WA 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 Yakima consumer law fraud lawyer is essential to proving your innocence.
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 Yakima, WA 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.
Most organizations must register with the Washington Secretary of State before soliciting or receiving charitable donations in Yakima. Residents can search the state database for an organization’s registration status. Unfortunately, scammers often try to take advantage of times when people feel extra generous. For example, the Yakima Herald reports about an increase in charity scams around the holiday season. In addition, both the Attorney General and the Secretary of State warn residents to watch out for COVID-19 charity scams. One of your best defenses is to proactively choose where to donate, rather than responding to a solicitation.
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 Yakima, Washington.
Defective Products and Services
Legitimate Yakima, WA 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.
Washington’s Product Liability Act governs all defective product lawsuits in Yakima. Unlike in many states, a Yakima plaintiff cannot rely on common law tort theories, such as negligence. Instead, you must prove specific statutory requirements to win your case. These can involve manufacturing defects, design defects, or inadequate warnings and instructions. In addition, Yakima plaintiffs must file within Washington’s 3 year statute of limitations.
Yakima, Washington 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. Yakima, Washington consumer laws also put measures in place to police false advertising and illegal debt collection practices.
Work With an Experienced Yakima, Washington Consumer Law Attorney
Working with a consumer fraud attorney in Yakima 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 Yakima, WA 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 Washington 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!