Beyond the safety net provided by US consumer protection laws, consumers must remain vigilant and informed about scams and fraud. Scams are cunning ploys engineered to defraud unsuspecting individuals of their money. With the rise of technology and social media, criminals have become adept at employing social engineering and phishing techniques to extract sensitive information. Such information can be exploited to access bank accounts or to deceive individuals into making payments to fraudulent entities instead of legitimate businesses.
Fraud, on the other hand, encompasses a broader spectrum of deceitful tactics geared toward financial enrichment through deception. A prevalent example of fraud in consumer protection law is lottery scams. In these scams, individuals receive messages proclaiming that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes. However, these “winners” are required to remit a processing fee to claim their winnings, which are nonexistent.
Investment fraud, such as Ponzi schemes, is another fraudulent method. Unscrupulous individuals lure investors by promising exorbitantly high returns. They create a facade of profitability. However, instead of genuine profits, the returns are paid from the capital contributions of new investors. Eventually, when the scheme can no longer attract new investors, it collapses, and many people lose their money.
While consumer protection laws play an integral role in safeguarding consumers, people need to understand their responsibility to protect themselves from fraud. You must be vigilant and skeptical, especially when sending and receiving online communication. Critical ways to avoid scammers include the following:
Consider consulting with an attorney from a consumer protection law firm for additional insights into securing your digital presence and transactions.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) is a federal consumer protection law that entitles you to get one credit report once every year from each of the three major credit companies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Request your free credit report or review it online through AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228.