Fraud and Unfair Trade Practices in Texas

»Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Fraud | 1 comment

The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), originally enacted in 1914, is designed to protect consumers and business from fraud via unfair trade practices. The Texas state statute specifically prohibits 25 acts which are considered fraudulent under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Mislabeling a product or service as that of another
  • Misleading the customers on the quality and certification of goods or services
  • Misrepresenting the condition of the product
  • Bad-mouthing competitors using false information
  • Making unnecessary repairs or replacements
  • Overcharging for repair of an item under warranty
  • Tampering with the odometer of a vehicle
  • False announcement of going out of business
  • Paid chain referral sales plan
  • Pyramiding
  • Failure to disclose necessary information prior to a purchase
  • Overpricing basic necessities in times of calamity

Also considered under unfair trade practices are those engaged in the following that have exhibited abusive behavior:

  • Debt collection
  • Warranties
  • Insurance

Anyone who has been a victim of unfair or deceptive trade practices can have recourse to the state statutes which is distinctly favorable to consumers. Most states mandate the awarding of minimum damages to any claimant that can prove the defendant engages in unfair or deceptive trade practices, even if there is no proof of actual damage done to the plaintiff. If the defendant knew the practice was unfair or defective, then you can sue for punitive damages. Compensation may be approved for the following

  • Refunds of purchase price, repair cost or rental fees
  • Medical bills in case of defective products or services which resulted in injury
  • Loss of income
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Pain and suffering

A plaintiff may also request for a cease and desist order for those businesses that engage in fraud from a civil court.

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