Illinois Plaintiff's Lawyer Personal Injury Blog- Legal News and Insights from Champaign Urbana Attorneys Koester & Bradley, LLP

The Consumer Fraud Act and the Distant Buyer Scam in Illinois

7/09/2018

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The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act is aimed at allowing victims of fraud in Illinois to recover monetarily, and to punish those actors who commit fraud.  Recently, Illinois Fraud scams are targeting entrepreneurs.
-Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act Requires the Right Legal Team

 Koester & Bradley Illinois Consumer Lawyers

The Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act was implemented to protect product buyers from personal damages. As more citizens in Champaign Urbana and throughout the Illinois are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain additional income or pursue their dream of business ownership, it is becoming more prevalent that entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as individuals are opening themselves up to becoming the victim.  While the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act covers a variety of actions, the so-called distant-buyer scam is beginning to proliferate due to the rise of internet commerce.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE actions considered as fraud under the Illinois consumer fraud act?
  • False advertising across all media channels.  This includes the internet, print, and even the phone.
  • False or misleading statements made by salespeople on the phone, the internet, or in person.
  • False or misleading marketing materials.
  • Concealing relevant information or facts about a particular good or service.
  • A fraudulent or undisclosed commission payment schedule
 

The Emergence of the Distant Buyer Scam In Illinois

 

The eager Illinois entrepreneur that is seeking quick business ideas on a budget often steer towards resale-based business ventures. To begin their customer base, these new business owners hit the internet to promote and sell their products. These inexperienced business owners are often encountered with the distant buyer scam.
 
The distant buyer scam occurs when an unknown buyer sends the business an inquiry on one or more products that it sells. Typically, the product that the buyer wants to purchase carries a high ticket price. The buyer offers to pay more for the product than what the seller is asking and insists on sending their own shipper to pick up the product. In these events the buyer does send a legitimate looking check or money order that increases the level of trust the seller has.  The seller is instructed to send the additional funds to the shipper, often to a P.O. Box. The seller is then out the product and the money as their bank collects the funds from the business or individual’s account to cover the fraudulent check or money order when it doesn’t clear.
 
If you are one of Illinois’ home business owners that suspects you have encountered a distant buyer scammer, Illinois  Consumer Protection and Fraud attorneys can help you. These professionals are able to assist you with reporting the occurrence with the proper authorities and federal agencies. They have the knowledge and expertise to begin research into your case which offers a better chance of finding the culprits that have caused you the loss. Should a suspect or suspects be found in your case, your attorney will begin the necessary proceedings to help you collect the monetary compensation you are due.
 
If you feel you have been victimized by a distant buyer scam:
  1. Save any correspondences you have received from the buyer.
  2. Contact your local state police post and file a victim’s report.
  3. Contact an Illinois Consumer Protection and Fraud attorney.
  4. Do not attempt to cash any check or money order regardless of how legitimate it may seem.

 
If your home business has experienced a loss or you are unsure of the legitimacy of a distant buyer,  contact us and we will help you sort it out. You will have a better understanding of your rights and the scams which are lurking.

By Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

What to Do After A Hit and Run Auto Accident in Illinois

7/05/2018

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Hit and Run Accidents in Champaign Urbana and across Illinois are frustrating and dangerous.  It is vital to stay cool and protect your right to compensation with a local Attorney.

​--Tom Koester, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Illinois Hit and Run Accident Lawyers Koester & Bradley

Car accidents can be a traumatizing experience.  The concentration of major State and National Interstate highways and travelers in the Champaign Urbana and Danville Areas make Central Illinois a hotbed for accidents.  Hit-and-run accidents can be even scarier. After all, the other person, who is often guilty of negligence behind the wheel and also Illinois Vehicle Code Violations, has left the scene, and you might be afraid that you won't get the help that you need. There are several things you should do after a hit-and-run accident both to preserve the safety of yourself and other passengers of the car, and to preserve your right to compensation from the other driver and most importantly, the other driver's insurance company.  Just because the other driver has broken the Illinois law and fled the scene of the accident, it does not mean that the other driver is not carrying an insurance policy which will be legally liable to compensate you or a loved ones for injuries from the accident. These things will allow you to get the help you need and will increase the chances of the culprit being caught.

Stay Put

Yes, it can be tempting to chase after the other driver. After all, you don't want the other person to get away with hitting your vehicle and causing damage and pain and suffering. Chasing after the other driver is not going to solve the problem, though. In your angry state, you may cause another crash.  Furthermore, Illinois law does not allow you to break other rules of the road in pursuing another individual.  Instead, do you best to gather all of the information and details about the other car as you possibly can and write them down as quickly as possible.  You can record these details in your phone, or even do a voice recording and take pictures.  This make the Police's job easier in apprehending the other driver and allowing you to recover.  Stay where you are, and check for injuries to yourself and others. Allow the police to find the hit-and-run driver.

Contact the Police and Your Insurance Company

Call the police as soon as possible after the accident.  Provide them with as much information as you can about the driver and the accident. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents often catch people by surprise. You may not be able to get the vehicle's full license plate number. You may not have a complete description of the driver. Remember as much as possible about the vehicle and the driver as you can, though. Information about the direction the person is traveling will also be helpful to police. Potential damage to the vehicle may also aid the police in finding the hit-and-run driver.  Finally, make sure you have a firm description of the make, model, and color of the other car.  The Police are very good at finding cars and criminals in Illinois and even the most minor detail is often enough for them to do their job.

Additionally, your insurance company may also be liable to assist you financially and to compensate you for your injuries after a hit and run accident in Champaign Urbana or across Illinois even if you do not know the other driver's identity.  Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is purchased for this reason.

Find Witnesses

Even if you are not able to provide adequate information to the police, witnesses may be able to fill in the blanks. If possible, ask anyone nearby who witnessed the accident to stay around and provide a report to the police. Nearby security cameras may also be able to help the police identify the person.  Also, don't forget than any passengers in your car are also witnesses as well as victims.

If you were injured in an accident where the other driver fled the scene,  contact us. We will work to help you get the compensation you deserve.  If you have specific questions, feel free to visit Koester & Bradley's ever-expanding database of Champaign Auto Accident Frequently Asked questions for guidance.  

Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP 

Legal News and safety tips with Illinois Impact from the Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP

Authors

Ryan R Bradley is a personal injury and litigation lawyer based in Champaign County Illinois focused on representing injured clients and businesses navigate the maze of litigation to financial recovery.  


Tom Koester is a personal injury attorney based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing the injured and victims of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injuries.