FIGHTING BACK is easier than you think.

Have You Been Defrauded By a New York Business?

New York has many consumer protection laws and regulations, but one of the most effective consumer protection statutes is Section 349 and 350 of the General Business Law (also known as the “GBL”), which prohibits deceptive and misleading business practices. These laws protect consumers like you against fraudulent business behavior.

Some examples of prohibited acts include bait & switch scams, deceptive billing practices, misuse of the word “free”, membership scams, improper labeling, failure to disclose defects, refund refusal, failure to adequately perform a service, and many others. If a business commits one or more of these acts against you, you may be entitled to compensation that could far outweigh the money that you lost. But more importantly, you can let them know that they can’t get away with it. And there’s no better way to send that message than by hitting their wallet.

If you are the victim of fraudulent business practices, you can sue for actual damages, which may be trebled (multiplied three times) up to $1,000.00 upon a finding of a willful or knowing violation of a business. If you are 65 or older, this penalty can be increased to up to $10,000 in certain circumstances. In addition, you may also be entitled to recoup your attorneys fees and costs. Since attorney’s fees are almost always recoupable, we take most consumer fraud cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we win. 

Examples of businesses violating New York’s Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices Acts (GBL 349 & 350) include:


  • A store refusing to honor its return policy or warranty
  • A business selling a product that falls apart a week after purchase, and refuses to accept returns or issue a refund
  • A business that made false claims in an advertisement and you relied on it
  • A business that sells you a product with misleading or false product labeling and you relied on it
  • An automobile repair shop that overcharges you for work you did not authorize or need
  • You signed a contract, but failed to notice the extra fine print at the bottom that materially changes the terms of the agreement
  • A business that charges you sales tax on non-taxable items, or charges you an unauthorized fee and refuses to issue you a refund
  • Bait & switch scams
  • Failure to disclose the true costs of goods or services
  • A tenant recovering a broker’s fee from a real estate agent for renting the tenant an illegal apartment
  • Mislabeling of ingredients in sports nutrition supplements and bars
  • Filing two lawsuits against a consumer for the same claim
  • Extended warranties serviced by another company without disclosure
  • Failure of an insurance company to honor a valid claim
  • Failure to deliver a warranty included with a purchase
  • Mislabeling the true weight or amount of an item for sale
  • A moving company you hired fails to unload your household items or holds your belongings hostage until you pay them an additional undisclosed fee

About the Murtha Law Group

 It’s time you had someone on your side. 

New York Consumer Fraud Attorneys Focused on Protecting Consumers from Abusive Companies.

In more than a decade of practicing law, we have earned a reputation as tough and tireless advocates with a passion for helping regular people fight for compensation they deserve. We stand up to carmakers, insurance companies, debt collection agencies, robocallers, and other big businesses. Our clients are family-oriented, hard-working people who cannot fight the system on their own, so they turn to us for our compassion and determination to advocate on their behalf. Read More…


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The top Answers You Need to Know

How do I know if I have a case?

Under New York General Business Law § 349, you can recover the money you lost, plus statutory damages, plus attorney’s fees, if you can demonstrate that: (1) the business’s act, practice, or advertisement was aimed at consumers; (2) that the act, practice, omission, or advertisement was misleading in a material respect; and (3) you were injured as a result of the deceptive act, practice or advertisement.

What can I do if I think I have a case?

You should contact a consumer lawyer to learn your rights. Every case is unique, and although it may appear you have a UDAP (Unfair and Deceptive Acts & Practices) claim, often times other state or federal statutes may best apply to your situation (i.e. a debt collection act, state or federal credit legislation, warranty law, lemon law, or other statutes).

What if the amount I lost was minimal?

The amount you lost is inconsequential to the principal of the matter. We must stand up to businesses that seek to defraud us, and thankfully New York State law allows you to affordably do so by having the fraudulent business pay your attorney’s fees for you. So regardless if you’ve been defrauded out of $40 or $4,000, you can afford to seek justice and have someone stand up for your rights.

What is NOT considered a deceptive business act for purposes of New York law?

There are several federal statutes that might preempt state consumer protection statutes (federal banking laws, for example), and several alternatives to a state-based consumer protection lawsuits (such as a federal RICO claims). There are also certain types of sellers that sometimes fall outside the scope of consumer protection statutes, such as insurance companies, utility companies, nonprofit organizations, schools, media outlets, wholesalers, medical professionals, and yes, even lawyers.

As you can see, deciding how to best handle a consumer law violation can be quite complicated. Since each case is unique, with its own set of facts and circumstances, it is always best to seek the advice of a consumer law attorney to help you decide what your legal rights in a particular matter might be.

How much will an attorney cost? Can I get a free lawyer to represent me?

In most consumer matters, an attorney will cost you NOTHING.

New York State law allows consumer lawyers to act as a sort of private attorneys general, and awards attorneys’ fees to consumer lawyers to reduce the burden on public enforcement agencies. Consumers who are victims of deceptive business acts can request to have the fraudulent business pay their attorney’s fees and costs for them. Since attorney’s fees and costs are typically recoupable, we handle most consumer law claims at no cost to you, the consumer. If your lawsuit is unsuccessful, or if we fail to collect attorney’s fees from the fraudulent business, you owe us nothing. 

By requiring businesses that violate the law to pay your legal expenses, New York State consumer laws make it possible for attorneys to devote significant resources to a case, even if your dollar losses are relatively minor compared to commercial disputes. This not only encourages consumers to remedy marketplace abuses, but also increases sellers’ maximum liability if they refuse to settle consumers’ just claims, encouraging them to settle quickly, and correct their unscrupulous behavior for the future.

Other people were harmed by this business. Do I have a class action claim?

 To find out more about Class Action Lawsuits, please visit my Class Action Lawsuit page.

I have another question that I can't find the answer to about my case.

We’ll be more than happy to discuss your case with you, for free. No strings attached. Please fill out our “Free Case Review” so we have all the relevant information we need to review your matter, and we will either call or email you (depending on your preference) to answer your questions and give you our thoughts.

Please keep in mind that since in many times we only get paid if we win, we are very selective with the cases that we accept. When you contact us, please provide as many details as possible, and be prepared to send us copies of all relevant documents so we can make the best assessment of your potential claim.

How long do I have to assert my rights?

Deceptive business acts and practices violations (claims under GBL § 349 & 350) are governed by a three-year statute of limitations (CPLR 241 [2]), and accrue when you have been injured by the deceptive act. So don’t delay. If you think you may have a claim, find out for sure by submitting your free case review below.

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Find answers by reading our Long Island, New York consumer law articles.

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