If you have been a victim of consumer fraud there are certain rights and protections afforded to you. There are many forms of consumer fraud. A Manhattan consumer fraud attorney can help you discuss your options.
Fraud is intentional deception in order to gain something from the person being deceived. Consumer fraud takes many forms including ATM fraud, credit card scams, investment fraud, and more. Reporting consumer fraud is important to protecting other consumers. If you feel that you've been wronged by a business, you should speak to an attorney.
The most common types of consumer fraud include fake charity scams, identity theft, robocall scams, credit card and debit card theft, debt collection scams, or knowingly selling products in poor or non-working shape, such as used cars.
A phishing scam is when someone attempts to deceive you through email to gain access to sensitive data, such as your passwords, account numbers, Social Security number, or any other identifying information. They usually do this by trying to pass themselves off as an official entity, such as your bank. Be careful about messages that want you to turn over information on websites that you are not familiar with.
There are several government agencies you can file a consumer fraud complaint with. At the federal level, this is typically through the Federal Trade Commission. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also handles complaints about financial issues. Locally, your state's attorney general's office also will handle consumer fraud complaints.
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic "road map" on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you've laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.