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West Virginia Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Most of us have been trained to be skeptical consumers, suspicious of over-the-top advertisements and wary of deals that sound too good to be true. So what is the Mountain State doing to protect citizens from shady sales tactics, false advertisements, and other sales scams?

These are known collectively as “deceptive trade practices” and prohibited under state law. Here is a quick introduction to deceptive trade practice laws in West Virginia.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

State laws against deceptive trade practices are intended to protect consumers by ensuring honesty and transparency in product labeling, advertisement, and sales. While West Virginia has yet to adopt the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, there are multiple state statutes and consumer protection laws that prohibit sellers from intentionally misleading buyers. These deceptive trade practices laws can prohibit everything from misstating warranty protections and spam emails to changing a used car’s odometer. The details of West Virginia’s deceptive trade practices laws are listed below.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted

No

West Virginia Code 46A-6-101, et seq.: General Consumer Protection

False Advertising Forbidden

Yes

46A-6-102; 46A-6-104

Who May Bring Suit

Consumer with ascertainable loss

46A-6-106

Remedies Available

The greater of actual damages or $200; injunction

46A-6-106;

Equitable relief

Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden

No specific provision against tampering

Protecting Yourself Against Deceptive Trade Practices

West Virginia’s deceptive trade practice laws are a great start, but they are limited to prosecuting illegal sales tactics after they happen. Therefore, it’s up to us consumers to do our best to avoid consumer scams before they happen. Each state has consumer protection offices that can provide you with the most current information and insight on local scams. Consumer protection offices can also receive reports about local deceptive business practices.

Along with state laws, federal resources like www.consumeraction.gov, and nation-wide nonprofits like the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org and www.fraud.org have online resources for filling out complaints, and can direct you to the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies with which to file a consumer fraud complaint.

More Resources for Deceptive Trade Practices Laws in West Virginia

The state laws outlawing deceptive trade practices can be as baffling as the scams themselves. FindLaw's section on Consumer Protection can provide you with additional articles and resources on this topic. You can also consult with a West Virginia consumer protection attorney in your area if you would like legal help regarding a consumer fraud or deceptive trade practices matter.

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