Consumer Fraud Policy

For more information on consumer fraud policy, select the source and summary below:

1. Kristy Holtfreter et. al., Consumer Fraud Victimization in Florida: An Empirical Study, 18 St. Thomas L. Rev. 761, 762 (2006).

The research presented in this article addresses several important consumer fraud concerns. Section II, Consumer Fraud Victimization, begins with an overview of Federal and State of Florida Legislation pertaining to consumer fraud, including a discussion of the history of legal policy efforts. Also reviewed in this section is previously conducted consumer fraud research, including types of consumer fraud, victim vulnerability, and victim reporting. Section III describes the sample and methodology of the inaugural (2004-2005) Florida Consumer Fraud Survey. An analysis of this data is presented in Section IV, which is followed by a discussion of the study's implications for future research and public policy in Section V.

HeinOnline Subscription        LexisNexis Subscription         ResearchGate Subscription

2. Martin T. Biegelman, Faces of Fraud: Cases and Lessons from a Life Fighting Fraudsters, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2013).

Expert Martin Biegelman draws from his 40 years of experience fighting fraud by profiling the key traits fraudsters share and the qualities fraud examiners must possess to be successful. Faces of Fraud entertains and informs readers with stories from real cases that the author investigated over his long career by imparting useful tips you can start using right away in the fraud examination field. Each chapter contains stories from actual cases that the author investigated. Faces of Fraud reveals must-know characteristics of fraudsters and the skills needed to outwit them. This book explores the best practices in fraud detection, investigation and prevention to cultivate in order to maximize success.

Purchase Book Online

3. Michael D. Reisig and Kristy Holtfreter, Shopping fraud victimization among the elderly, Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 20, Issue 3, 324-337 (2013).

Purpose – This study aims to investigate whether low self-control and routine activity theories explain fraud outcomes among the elderly. Specifically, the effects of low self-control and remote purchasing behaviors on shopping fraud targeting and victimization are empirically assessed.

Design/methodology/approach – Cross-sectional survey data from telephone interviews conducted in Arizona and Florida are used. A total of 2,000 adults aged 60 and over were surveyed. Because selection bias was observed, a two-stage probit regression model was estimated to assess theoretical hypotheses in a multivariate context.

Findings – The results demonstrate that two forms of remote purchasing – telemarketing purchase and mail-order purchase – increase the probability of shopping fraud targeting. Infomercial purchase and mail-order purchase are significant correlates of shopping fraud victimization. The probability of becoming a target and victim is affected positively by reduced levels of self-control. The effects of demographic characteristics on fraud outcomes are null.

Research limitations/implications – This research lends support to the argument that low self-control and routine activity theories shed light on fraud victimization among elderly consumers. Future research should examine the influence of low self-control, individual routines and lifestyles on other forms of victimization that the elderly experience.

Practical implications – The findings underscore the need for fraud prevention and increasing public awareness among elderly consumers.

Originality/value – This is the first study to examine shopping fraud targeting and victimization of the elderly in a broad theoretical context.

Emerald Insight Subscription        

4. Eun-Jin Kim and Loren Geistfeld, Elder Fraud: An American-Korean Comparison, Consumer Interests Annual, Vol. 52 (2006).

Both the United States and Korea are “aging societies.” In 2000 Americans 65 or older were 12.4% of the U.S. population.. By 2030 the aged population in the U.S. is estimated to be 19.7% of the American population. In Korea the elderly were 7.1% of the Korean population in 2000, which is expected to grow to about 20% of the Korean population by 2028. As the older population increases, consumer problems related to the elderly become more numerous. Elderly consumers tend to be disadvantaged in market place due to their physical, psychological, and social limitations. Decision-making tends to become increasingly important as people age, while decision-making capacity tends to decrease as they age. This makes the elderly particularly vulnerable to fraud. This article studies the factors contributing to elder susceptibility to fraud and compares American and Korean elderly.

Free Online Copy

5. Marc A. Rodwin, Consumer Protection and Managed Care: The Need for Organized Consumers, Health Affairs, Vol. 15, No. 3, 110-123 (1996). doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.15.3.110

In this paper Marc Rodwin describes the current proposals circulating to give consumers more protection in and information about the managed care marketplace. Believing that all of the regulatory proposals fall short of their goals, Rodwin proposes and explains some more organized forms of consumer advocacy. His study will show how thinking about accountability has evolved; describe how it became an issue in health policy; and draw lessons for health policy from attempts to promote accountability in other fields. Despite its many advantages, managed care creates new problems for consumers. Activists have proposed four types of remedies: (1) increased information and choice; (2) standards for services and marketing; (3) administrative oversight; and (4) procedural due process for complaints. Each approach offers some benefits, but they are insufficient to cope with consumer problems. What is lacking is effective, organized consumer advocacy.

HealthAffairs Website

6. Donna S. Harkness, Packaged and Sold: Subjecting Elder Law Practice to Consumer Protection Laws, 11 J.L. & Pol’y 525 (2002-2003).

This article discusses how unfair and deceptive practices are relevant to the search for legal assistance by explaining the rationale for applying the consumer protection concepts to the practice of law. Employing consumer protection statutes to regulate lawyers serving elderly clients and practicing elder law would enhance trust between the elderly and their legal counsel. Such reform would also provide greater protection and opportunities for redress than existing mechanisms of attorney discipline and malpractice lawsuits.

Free Copy of Journal

7. Kathleen S. Morris, Expanding Local Enforcement of State and Federal Consumer Protection Laws, 40 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1903 (2013).

This Article calls on Congress and the state legislatures to grant large cities and counties standing to enforce the Federal Trade Commission Act (the FTC Act) and its state statutory counterparts (or little Acts). The FTC Act, a federal law, prohibits businesses from engaging in any "unlawful," "unfair," or "deceptive" acts or practices, and the little Acts apply similarly broad prohibitions in all fifty states. This fifty-one-statute consumer protection regime, which has been the law of the land for several decades, carries enormous promise to halt a wide range of unlawful and harmful corporate practices in their earliest stages. Unfortunately, that promise has not been fulfilled because these laws are chronically under-enforced. This Article argues that the nation's legislatures should invite cities and counties with populations over 50,000 into consumer protection enforcement by granting them standing to seek injunctive relief and penalties under the FTC Act and little Acts. It addresses the practical benefits and barriers to disaggregating consumer protection enforcement in this way and discusses the attendant localism and federalism concerns.

Online Copy via Digital Commons                LexisNexis Subscription