Consumer Protection Attorneys Help Hold Businesses Accountable for Deceptive and Fraudulent Practices

Federal and state laws protect consumers from a wide range of deceptive, fraudulent, and unethical business practices.

Federal and state laws protect consumers from a wide range of deceptive, fraudulent, and unethical business practices. While consumer protection laws are expansive and vary widely, in general, they help preserve consumers' privacy and prevent businesses from taking advantage of people in vulnerable positions.

At Sommers Schwartz, we aggressively protect consumers' rights under all state and federal consumer protection statutes. Our dedicated team of attorneys represents large groups of clients through class action lawsuits. We have decades of combined experience litigating complex consumer protection cases. We know what it takes to hold businesses accountable for their deceitful, reckless, and unethical practices.

Consumer Protection Facts and Statistics

The Federal Trade Commission is the government entity tasked with enforcing many of the consumer protection laws. According to the FTC, it received 3.2 million consumer reports in 2019 concerning suspect business practices. Of those, the top three categories involved:

  • Identity Theft

  • Imposter Scams

  • Telephone Scams

Included in that figure are 1.7 million reports of fraud. As a result of fraudulent activity, 23 percent of consumers suffered financial harm; their total loss amounted to more than $1.9 billion.

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a massive increase in consumer protection complaints as some unscrupulous businesses attempted to exploit struggling consumers. In 2020, the FTC received a staggering 4.7 million consumer reports, including 2.1 million reports of fraud. Thirty-four percent of those reports lost money totaling over $3.3 billion.

The five top fraud categories were:

  • Online shopping
  • Internet services
  • Imposter scams
  • Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries
  • Telephones and mobile services

The most common types of illegal behavior reported involved:

  • Fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Do-Not-Call violations

In 2020, the FTC received nearly four million complaints that businesses violated requests to be put on the "do-not-call list." Currently, there are more than 241 million people on the do-not-call list registry.

Teamwork is the key to success.

We strive to secure the best experts to support each case we file in court. Our preparation, our tactics, our strategies, our commitment and our determination has been a winning formula in hundreds of cases.

We don't just believe in teamwork. We live it.

Every case that comes into our office is analyzed by a team of nurses, doctors and lawyers.

Fraud Affects Americans of All Ages

Historically, fraud has disproportionately affected older age groups, who consistently lose higher median dollar amounts to scammers. Younger adults, however, tend to lose money more often. By age group, the most common types of fraud in 2020 involved:

Age Group

20 to 29-years old

  1. Online shopping scams
  2. Text message scams
  3. Government imposter scams

Age Group

30 to 59-years old

  1. Text message scams
  2. Online shopping scams
  3. Government imposter scams

Age Group

60 to 69-years old

  1. Text message scams
  2. Government imposter scams
  3. Online shopping scams

Age Group

70 to 79-years old

  1. Government imposter scams
  2. Text message scams
  3. Business imposter scams

Age Group

80 to 89-years old

  1. Government imposter scams
  2. Business imposter scams
  3. Sweepstakes/lottery scams

Attorney Referrals

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100% referral fee payment record

Over $60 million in referral fees paid in the last decade alone

What Are Consumer Protection Laws?

Business is competitive. Companies that bring in revenue survive, while those that do not go out of business. This law of the jungle can put significant pressure on business owners, executives, and managers to run their business by cutting corners, exaggerating their value, and earning larger profits. Consumer protection laws refer to a set of rules that all businesses must obey.

While many different laws govern how businesses can interact with the public, consumer protection laws protect consumers' privacy and prevent companies from engaging in unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive practices. These laws often specifically focus on protecting especially vulnerable groups of consumers.

A few of the most critical consumer protection laws include:

The Federal Trade Commission Act

The Clayton Act

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

The Better Online Ticket Sales Act

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000

The Consumer Leasing Act

The Consumer Review Fairness Act

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (The "Credit CARD" Act)

The Crimes Against Charitable Americans Act of 2001

Do-Not-Call Registry Legislation

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

The Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003

The Fair Credit Billing Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Labeling and Packaging Act

The Fur Product Labeling Act

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

The Hobby Protection Act

The Home Equity Loan Consumer Protection Act

The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act

The Military Lending Act

The Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act of 2018

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act

The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act

The Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act

The Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act

The Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992

The Truth in Lending Act

The U.S. Safe Web Act

Although lengthy, this is not a complete list of the current federal consumer protection laws. The federal government takes unethical and unfair business practices seriously and continuously adds protections by creating new statutes.

At Sommers Schwartz, we are committed to consumer protection advocacy. Our team of attorneys works tirelessly to stay up-to-date on all newly passed legislation to ensure that we remain on the cutting edge.

Common Consumer Protection Claims

Given the breadth of the consumer protection laws in the United States, it can be challenging to understand what businesses can and cannot do. Often, a consumer's gut feeling that a business practice seems unfair can be a good indication that a corresponding law addresses the issue.

Below are a few of the most common types of consumer protection claims:

Class Action Lawsuits Arising From False or Misleading Claims

When a business engages in predatory practices, chances are high that more than just a few consumers are affected. Thus, class action lawsuits are common in consumer protection cases.

A consumer protection class action lawsuit is one in which a group of similarly situated plaintiffs bring their claims as a group or "class." While not every consumer protection claim is appropriate for class action litigation, this kind of legal action offers plaintiffs many benefits.

  • Rather than every plaintiff preparing their own case, plaintiffs can save much work—and expense—by combining similar claims into one lawsuit. This enables a group of plaintiffs to bring claims that collectively amount to significant amounts but may not be worth the cost of pursuing individually.
  • Defendants facing a class action consumer protection lawsuit may be more willing to immediately engage in fair negotiations, knowing that they face significant liability for the combined value of many small claims.
  • Class action lawsuits can be quicker in many situations. This is because a court can hear one case and render a verdict that applies to a group of similar plaintiffs rather than decide many individual cases over years of litigation.

To bring a class-action lawsuit, the plaintiffs must obtain class certification from the court. While the nuances of class certification are quite complex, it requires the class of plaintiffs to meet the following criteria:

  • The plaintiffs making up the class must be identifiable.
  • The class must consist of a sufficient number of plaintiffs to make individual litigation impracticable.
  • The class members must have all suffered the same type of harm.
  • The claims and likely defenses must be similar among plaintiffs.
  • The class representative must adequately represent the interests of the individual class members.

Consumer protection claims often make good candidates for class action lawsuits because unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive business practices typically affect many consumers in similar ways.

Featured Result

$89 MILLION

Pharmaceutical class action settlement

The Importance of Experienced Counsel in a Consumer Protection Claim

Consumer protection cases often involve many plaintiffs, all of whom were taken advantage of, deceived, or defrauded. While a single plaintiff's claim may not cause concern to a large business, companies take it seriously when plaintiffs band together to bring a class-action lawsuit. However, these cases often take years to work their way through the justice system and require a high level of knowledge and skill.

Contact An Attorney

At Sommers Schwartz, we have extensive experience handling consumer protection lawsuits on behalf of individual clients as well as large classes of plaintiffs. Our attorneys routinely serve as class counsel in high-stakes class action lawsuits, not just in the area of consumer protection but also in employment lawsuits, product liability claims, and securities cases.

Our Results Speak for Themselves

At Sommers Schwartz, we pride ourselves on offering an unrivaled level of skill and dedication to each client. Our mission is to stand up for consumers against unethical and deceptive businesses. While money damages are only one of the metrics by which we gauge our success, these awards not only help our clients in their own lives but also punish businesses for their wrongful conduct.

A few of our more recent consumer protection cases are described below:

Case results

$89 million recovered 

on behalf of a group of patients being overcharged for the pharmaceutical drugs Bextra and Celex.

Case results

$46 million recovered 

in a RICO class-action lawsuit involving a plaintiff who claimed he was defrauded through a pyramid scheme.

Case study

$12 million recovered 

for a purchaser of a protein supplement drink that overstated the amount of protein in the drink.

Case study

$7 million recovered

in a spam fax advertising case involving a restaurant that sent out more than 14,000 fax advertisements to 7,700 phone numbers.

Every case is unique. When the dedicated consumer protection lawyers at Sommers Schwartz are on your team, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Consumer Protection Attorney at Sommers Schwartz to Learn More

If you were defrauded, misled, or otherwise mistreated by a business, you are not alone. Tens of thousands of people each year fall victim to predatory business practices. At Sommers Schwartz, we are here to help. Our attorneys are frequently named lead counsel in some of the most complex and high-stake consumer protection class-action lawsuits. Over the decades that we have handled consumer protection cases, we have earned a nationwide reputation for providing an exceptional level of representation to clients across the United States.

To learn more, call to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated consumer protection attorneys today. You can reach us at 800-783-0989. You can also fill out our online form, and an attorney will reach out to you shortly.