An array of consumer fraud can occur in a number of different contexts. For example, a product that contains a manufacture or design defect that does not perform as warranted can form the basis for a consumer class action. Consumers may also be defrauded by purchasing a product that claims to be “all natural” even though it contains synthetic ingredients. Likewise, a company that makes false representations or falsely advertises its products to consumers may be liable for consumer fraud.
Various consumer and fraud statutes protect consumers. These laws can be used by consumers to take legal action against, for example, false and deceptive advertising, unfair or unlawful business practices, privacy violations, and product defects. The strength of these statutes, however, can vary from state to state. In California, the Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code § 17200), the False Advertising Act (Business and Professions Code § 17500), and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Civil Code §§ 1750-1784), provide protection for consumers. Class actions can be brought under theses statutes in California to bring relief to consumers who were harmed by a company’s unlawful practices.