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.