Most states have adopted a variation of the Uniform Deceptive Acts and Practices law (UDAP). These are designed to protect consumers from business owners who use deceptive tactics to prey on customers.
UDAP (aka consumer fraud) laws generally make it easier to maintain a cause of action under the statute than under common law fraud, and often, a successful plaintiff may also obtain an award for legal fees.
Using the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act as an example, the Act makes it easier to prove fraud in the following ways:
- Rather than proving that the defendant made a knowingly false statement of material fact to the plaintiff, the plaintiff must only prove that the defendant engaged in a deceptive act or practice.
- The plaintiff need not prove that he relied on the defendant’s false statement and was damaged by such reliance. Rather, he need only prove that he was damaged as a result of the defendant’s violation of the Act.
- Finally, while common law fraud requires proof by clear and convincing evidence, the Act only requires proof by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a lower evidentiary standard, which only demands that the evidence show that the defendant is more likely guilty than not guilty.
Even with damages of less than $100, you can often recover $500+. And don’t forget, CFLS will handle your case for FREE on contingency.