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What Constitutes False Advertising?

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Hundreds of thousands of people are the victims of false advertising in the U.S. each year. Many people don't even realize when they've been conned. In other instances, the fraud eventually becomes clear. Here are a few of the most common types of false advertising: • Overcharging for a service — This is common in many types of businesses, including real estate, restaurants, auto repair, and home renovations, among others. In this type of fraud, the charge applied for a good or service is higher than the price advertised. • Hidden fees, costs, and markup — Especially common these days among mortgage companies, but prevalent in car sales and other businesses that involve complex transactions, often for first-time buyers who aren't aware of the difference between valid and fraudulent fees. • Misrepresentations —Advertising that misrepresents the benefits, characteristics, origin, or uses of a product or service. For example, a "late model" TV set turns out to be ten years old; "Maine ... more
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