When Illinois residents buy a good, they probably put little thought into whether they are getting what they are paying for. Sure, a lot of us try to do our research before making a purchase, as is often the case when one buys a car, but we rarely consider whether a business is actually trying to trick us into purchasing something that isn’t what we want. There is good reason why we’re not concerned. For decades, federal and state legislatures and agencies have worked hard to curtail consumer fraud. Yet, there are still far too many businesses out there that are trying to dupe their consumers.
So what make a trade practice deceptive in the eyes of the law? There are many ways deceptive trade practices can occur. For example, a good that confuses a customer as to its source or when a business tries to pass off goods or services as those of another, then deception has occurred. Deception also occurs when a business claims that a product is new when, in fact, it is used.
But deception doesn’t end there. A business may also try to trick a customer by improperly disparaging the products or goods of another with false or misleading claims about that other party. Similarly, it is illegal for a business to make false claims or representations to present its goods or services in a positive light. Also, the law has a catch-all provision, which deems illegal any other business practice that creates misunderstanding or confusion amongst consumers.
Those who have been harmed by unfair trade practices may be able to recover compensation for their losses. Of course, proving the elements of deceptive trade practices can be challenging, especially when these claims are aggressively defended against. For this reason, those affected by consumer fraud may want to discuss their case with a competent advocate who may be able to help them develop a strong legal strategy. This will ensure that your rights are protected and your interests and goals are served.