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:
- Save any correspondences you have received from the buyer.
- Contact your local state police post and file a victim’s report.
- Contact an Illinois Consumer Protection and Fraud attorney.
- Do not attempt to cash any check or money order regardless of how legitimate it may seem.