Cash for Gold Fraud

businessman signing a contract

The Division of Consumer Affairs found extensive fraud in the cash for gold business.

the urban crackdown resulted in nearly 10,000 citations for alleged, civil violations of State consumer protection laws at 71 jewelry stores, pawn shops, and other locations.  In addition, officers confiscated 35 scales that were of types not approved for cash-for-gold transactions, or were not registered with the Office of Weights and Measures.

“This Urban Cash-For-Gold task force covered northern, central, and southern New Jersey, to ensure all consumers are protected when they sell their jewelry,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.  “The fact that our officers confiscated the scales used in nearly half of these stores demonstrates the great need to ensure these consumers are not cheated.”  http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Pages/12182014.aspx

Overcharging and Deception at Auto Parts Store

businessman signing a contract

A New Jersey investigation found overcharging and misleading advertising at auto parts stores. The State said,  “The investigation, undertaken early last year, found that seven AutoZone stores in Newark, Carteret, Elizabeth, Linden, Flemington, and Plainfield, failed to plainly mark the total selling price on some merchandise.” http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Pages/03292016.aspx.  A consent order was later executed.  www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/PressAttachments/03292016_AutoZone_att.pdf

The Division of Consumer Affairs said, “AutoZone is the largest of five New Jersey automotive parts retailers to settle allegations of pricing violations in the past year… that the automotive parts retailers also failed to plainly mark the total selling price on merchandise offered for sale in their stores State.”

Our office is evaluating legal action including possible class action involving these claims.

FREE CONSULTATION, CALL (973) 598-1980, or email HowardGutman@aol.com

False Advertising and Telemarketers

A number of claims may be brought against telemarketers.   Claims may be filed in court under the Consumer Fraud Act or Deceptive Practices statute, or a governmental entity such as the FTC may be contacted.

1. Deceptive Debt Relief Scheme

telemarket

Various deceptions have been identified.

“The telemarketers generally began their calls by congratulating consumers for qualifying for a special expense reduction program or asking whether the consumer was interested in decreasing his or her debts. Telemarketers generally stated that they were affiliated with the consumer’s creditors or lenders, were calling on behalf of the government, or had special relationships with creditors or lenders that enabled them to negotiate debt management deals that were unobtainable by other service providers.”

2. Standard on Fraud Claims

In governmental claims,  the FTC must demonstrate that “(1) there was a representation; (2) the representation was likely to mislead customers acting reasonably under the circumstances, and (3) the representation was material.  Similarly, in private claims, the victim must identify where and when the statement was made, and why it is false, deceptive, and material.

A representation is material if it is likely to affect a consumer’s decision to buy a product or service. Int’l Comp. Concepts, 1995 WL 767810, at *2.  In the debt relief case, the Court said,  Defendants’ representations regarding their ability to negotiate incredible debt settlement deals were certainly material. A number of Defendants’ customers stated in their declarations that they had chosen not to sign with other debt relief service providers who were unable to make promises similar to those made by Defendants. Defendants’ statements promising up to 70 percent reductions in mortgage or credit card debt would affect any consumer’s decision to buy Defendants’ services.

 
FREE CONSULTATION ON YOUR FRAUD OR TELEMARKETING DECEPTION CLAIM
Call (973) 598-1980

Utility and Advertising Overcharges,

Have you been promised one price in an advertisement or solicitation and found that you have been charged significantly more.  Our office is handling claims involving Verizon, cable companies and other entities.   Have you been solicited by a telemarketer for a promising plan, but found something different when you signed.

telemarket

Call (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation.

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