By Anders Blewett
Consumer fraud in Montana has been of particular concern for its residents in recent years. Consumer fraud can be described as defrauding customers by selling products or services that do not work as advertised or charging customers hidden fees.
Which kinds of businesses are people in Montana suspicious of?
According to a survey by AARP, people living in Montana are most worried about businesses that sell their products and services over the phone. They considered these businesses to be more likely to mislead customers about their products or the fees involved. About half of people surveyed were wary of companies selling pharmaceuticals or businesses selling goods online. About one third of people surveyed were very concerned about being deceived by health care companies and organizations, telephone companies, finance companies, and payday loan companies. People who were younger than age 60 were more likely to be wary of consumer fraud in Montana with regards to selling products via phone while people older than 60 were more wary of companies selling product via the internet.
What kinds of consumer fraud have Montana residents encountered?
About thirty-nine percent of people in Montana believe that they have been defrauded by a business. This is in contrast to a nation-wide survey that reported that twenty-one percent of Americans felt that they had been a victim of consumer fraud. In regards to people in Montana who were surveyed, thirty-three percent of people believe to have been victim to a car related fraud or telephone service fraud. Approximately twenty-five percent of people claim to be victims of credit card fraud and about twenty percent of people reported to be victims of fraud for insurance, donations, and home repair.
What can be Done to Prevent Consumer Fraud in Montana?
In Montana,consumer fraud is a crime and there are many laws that regulate commerce to prevent fraud.
The Montana Department of Justice enforces many of these laws, but they also alert citizens to scams. There is a wealth of information on the site including: help for farmers & ranchers, information on telemarketing and Do-not-Call Lists, oil and gas issues, and scam alerts. There is a better chance of avoiding consumer fraud in Montana if you are well aware of common scams and less than reputable companies. Their website can also be used to file a complaint against a business.
If you believe that you might have been the victim of consumer fraud in Montana, the lawyers at Hoyt & Blewett PLLC are prepared to assist you and your loved ones. The Montana consumer fraud lawyers at Hoyt & Blewett have years of experience representing clients who have been defrauded or misled by financial companies, insurance companies, and corporations.