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New Mexico Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

As consumers, we all know by now to be skeptical of advertisements and especially wary of deals that sound too good to be true. And the Land of Enchantment is on our side as well, with extensive consumer protection laws designed to protect citizens from shady sales tactics, false advertisements, and other sales scams, known collectively as “deceptive trade practices.” This is a brief overview of deceptive trade practice laws in New Mexico.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

New Mexico is one of many states to adopt the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which codifies unfair trade practice protections in the state statutes and prohibits sellers from intentionally misleading buyers. These laws ban everything from mislabeling food products and altering a used car’s odometer to spam emails. New Mexico’s deceptive trade practices statutes are highlighted below.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted

Yes

New Mexico Statutes 57-12-1, et seq.: Unfair Trade Practices

False Advertising Forbidden

Yes

New Mexico Statutes 57-15-2: Definitions;

Who May Bring Suit

Attorney general;

Any private person likely to be damaged

New Mexico Statutes 57-12-10: Private Remedies;

District attorney

Remedies Available

Injunctive relief, actual damages or $100 whichever is greater, $300 or treble damages whichever is greater, attorney's fees and costs

57-12-10;

Civil penalty

New Mexico Statutes 57-12-11: Civil Penalty;

False advertising civil penalty not to exceed $500

Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden

Yes: misdemeanor and three times actual damages

New Mexico Statutes 57-12-6: Misrepresentation of Motor Vehicles

Protecting Yourself Against Deceptive Trade Practices

While helpful, New Mexico’s laws are limited to prosecuting deceptive trade practices after they happen. Therefore, we consumers must do our best to avoid these scams before they happen. State consumer protection offices can provide you with the most up-to-date information on local scams, and receive reports about local deceptive business practices. Also, federal resources like www.consumeraction.gov, and nonprofits like the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org and www.fraud.org, can assist with filling out complaints online, as well as finding the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies with which to file a consumer fraud complaint.

More Resources for New Mexico Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

State statutes outlawing deceptive trade practices can be as confusing as the scams themselves. For additional articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's section on Consumer Protection. If you would like legal assistance with a consumer fraud or deceptive trade practices matter, you can consult with a New Mexico consumer protection attorney.

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