The Consumer Fraud

Consumer fraud is when a consumer experienced financial or other types of losses due to business transactions. The main intention of the criminal is to advertise and sell products and/or services by using deception, fraud, unfair commercial practices, suppression, or omission of any material fact that will mislead the consumers. Business transactions can happen in several types of form. Aside from personal experience, it consumer fraud can also be done through phone calls, mail, and online.

The Federal Trade Commission is the department of government assigned to protect the consumers. They are using various methods to educate everyone, such as law enforcement actions, lead workshops, consumer and business education, issue reports and policy guidance, and participation in forums.

According to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book (2017), the top consumer complaint is debt collection – which makes up 28% of the complaint. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), “a debt collector is someone who collects debts owed to others” – which can be companies, agencies, and lawyers. However, there are people who are using this scheme to scam others.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises people to do the following steps in order to verify whether the debt collector is legitimate or not:

  • Ask for information about the debt collect including the name of the person, name of the company, office address, telephone number, and professional license number.
  • Ask for a “validation notice”, which states the amount of your debt, the name of the credit to whom the money was owed, and the steps on how to proceed in case the person thinks that he/she don’t owe the money. Remember that the notice must be sent within 5 days after the debt collector contacts the person.