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Examples of deceptive trade practices

False advertising is one of the most common examples of a deceptive trade practice. This happens when the company lies to or intentionally misleads consumers simply to get them to buy a product.

However, it's important to remember that deceptive trade practices can take many forms. To help you watch out for them, here are a few more examples:

-- Altering the odometer on a car.

The number of miles on a car is one of the biggest indicators of its value. Private sellers and car dealerships are not allowed to roll the odometer back to make the car appear to be worth more than it really is.

-- Saying that services are needed when they are not.

For instance, you may take your car to the shop to have them look at the brake pads. If the pads are fine but they tell you that you need to change them just to make the sale, knowing that you won't know one way or the other, that could be an unfair practice.

-- Saying that products have sponsorship that they don't actually have.

For example, many shoes are sponsored by athletes in the NFL, NBA and other leagues. A shoe manufacturer or seller cannot claim that a shoe is sponsored by a player without first obtaining -- and likely paying for -- that sponsorship.

As you can see, authenticity is valued in the marketplace. Consumers really must know what they are buying; though advertising can promote products, it can't do it inaccurately. When this happens, those who bought those products may need to looking into their rights to financial compensation for purchases they would never have made otherwise.

Source: FindLaw, "Details on State Deceptive Trade Practices," accessed May 12, 2017

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