New Jersey Consumer Fraud Lawyers
Representing clients harmed by fraud throughout NJ
When an unsuspecting consumer has been taken advantage of, misled, exploited, or deceived by a product, service provider, or corporation, it is an act of consumer fraud. Unfortunately, consumer fraud happens every day, but New Jersey has strong consumer protection laws to help foster a fair marketplace where consumers get what they pay for. If they do not, there is a penalty for those who purposefully mislead or deceive consumers.
The New Jersey consumer fraud lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP stand up for clients who have been exploited and victimized. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your consumer fraud case. Contact us in Toms River, Red Bank, or Edison today.
Consumer fraud and unfair trade practices
While most states have enacted consumer fraud or unfair trade practices laws, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is known to provide some of the strongest protections in the country. Enacted in 1960 to “combat the increasingly widespread practice of defrauding the consumer,” it was modified in 1971 to allow private citizens to enforce its conditions. This law also allowed law firms to file lawsuits on behalf of defrauded individuals. The three main objectives of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act are:
- Compensate victims for their loss
- Punish the seller and award treble damages (triple the amount of remedies)
- Attract legal counsel by providing an incentive to take a case with a minor loss to the individual
Common types of consumer fraud
Those who have been harmed because of consumer fraud can lose thousands of dollars, or even their entire life savings. Fortunately, consumers do not have to go down this road alone. Our New Jersey consumer protection lawyers handle all types of consumer fraud. The following are examples of some of the more common types of consumer fraud that happen every day:
- Credit card fraud: This is a billion-dollar business, but credit card companies have introduced a way to improve security by using an EMV chip that creates a unique transaction code that cannot be duplicated. This makes it much more difficult for thieves to defraud merchants and consumers.
- Violations of internet privacy: With the increasingly high levels of access to information, personal privacy and data security becomes a major concern for those of us who want to enjoy the convenience of operating within the digital economy. If your right to privacy has been violated, we represent clients throughout the process of obtaining the justice they deserve.
- Home improvement contractor fraud: When a contractor does not do the work properly, or fails to do the work at all, and has been paid for the job, this is considered fraud.
- Identity theft: This occurs when someone steals your personal information like a credit card number, social security number, or bank account number with the intention of committing fraud. Often, once the victim realizes what has happened, the damage is done. An act of consumer fraud can empty bank accounts, apply for loans, use credit cards, and ultimately ruin a victim’s credit score. It is important to be vigilant about protecting yourself against identity theft.
- Insurance fraud: Insurance companies may say a claim is unwarranted or uncovered and will deny payment, particularly after a catastrophic event that would warrant a large sum of money.
- Investor fraud: Some examples of investor fraud include unauthorized trading, misrepresentations and omissions, and recommending poor investments.
- Lemon law cases: When you purchase a car that needs constant repairs or simply does not work, this is an example of consumer fraud.
- Mortgage foreclosure scams: This happens when clients have been coerced into mortgage modification schemes and other foreclosure prevention scams.
Consumer fraud and class action lawsuits
On occasion, an individual will file a lawsuit on behalf of him or herself and a larger group of people who have been the victim of the same or similar fraud. A class action suit will pursue compensation for all the individuals who have been victimized and can involve a large number of people whose claims are all similar. Once the court certifies a class action, all the claims can be heard and ruled on in one trial.
Who can bring a consumer fraud act claim?
Consumers who believe that they have been defrauded or purposefully deceived can file a lawsuit under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act against the business merchant responsible for the wrongful conduct. A merchant is any commercial concern which sells or vends goods or services to consumers, or other merchants including:
- Franchisees or franchisors
What damages are available under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act?
A plaintiff who has successfully proven that he or she has suffered an “ascertainable loss” because of consumer fraud, (which means that the loss is measurable) he or she may be entitled to recover triple the amount of damages and attorney’s fees. The triple damages penalty was intended to be punitive and to deter merchants from participating in the same type of conduct in the future.
New Jersey consumer protection lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP advocate for victims of consumer fraud
If you have been exploited by the dishonest, fraudulent actions of another, you are urged to contact the skilled New Jersey consumer protection lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP. We have the experience and the knowledge to aggressively handle all types of consumer fraud cases. Our legal team works tirelessly to help protect the rights of our clients in consumer fraud cases to ensure there is proper compensation for suffered losses.