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Indiana Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Businesses want to make money on the products and services they sell, and consumers are always searching for the best deal. But when manufacturers or retailers make false assertions about their products or use other misleading tactics to entice sales, they are engaging in one or more “deceptive trade practices.” This can include everything from lying about a used car’s service history to overstating the health benefits of vitamin supplements. Here is a brief summary of deceptive trade practice laws in Indiana.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Indiana’s deceptive trade practices laws adhere to the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, allowing both state attorneys and private parties to file lawsuits against dishonest companies. Learn more about Indiana deceptive trade practices law in the following table.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted

No (§24-5-0.5-1 to 10)

False Advertising Forbidden

Yes; (§35-43-5-3)

Who May Bring Suit

Consumer or consumer class; attorney general (§24-5-0.5-4)

Remedies Available

Actual damages; attorney's fees; attorney general may seek injunction, costs and up to $15,000 for violating injunction (§24-5-0.5-4); penalty up to $500 for incurable deceptive act (§24-5-0.5-8). Class A misdemeanor (§35-43-5-3)

Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden

Yes (§9-19-9-2); Class D felony

Protecting Yourself From Deceptive Trade Practices

As consumers, we need to be on guard for all kinds of scams. If you suspect a person or a business is engaging in deceptive business practices, you can contact a consumer protection office in your area. A consumer protection office can investigate and prosecute scammers under criminal statutes and also give you information about ongoing consumer scams. Additionally, local sources like your local newspaper, radio station, television station, or prosecutor may have resources that can help. Many of these local sources have people or departments dedicated to exposing existing consumer scams and helping protect local citizens against future scams.

There are also federal resources, such as www.consumeraction.gov, that provide help for those wishing to report deceptive trade practices. A number of nonprofits, such as the Better Business Bureau, can assist you in registering consumer fraud complaints. And web sites like www.fraud.org allow you to fill out a fraud complaint online, and may also handle forwarding it to the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies.

Indiana Deceptive Trade Practices Laws: Related Resources

Deceptive trade practices and the state laws that protect us against them are constantly changing. For related articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's Consumer Protection section. If you would like legal advice regarding a possible consumer fraud or deceptive trade practices case, you can contact an Indiana consumer protection attorney in your area.

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