Woman on her phone looking through her secured accounts.

What Should I Do After My Identity Has Been Stolen?

Each year, tens of millions of people are victims of identity fraud. In fact, in 2019 alone, over 14 million people had their identities stolen. Nearly a quarter of these victims had unreimbursed expenses related to the fraud, with the median loss being approximately $400. If you are a victim of identify theft, there are several steps you must take to repair the damage. For additional guidance on this topic, please contact a consumer class action attorney as soon as possible. 

File a report with the Federal Trade Commission

If you believe your identity has been stolen, the first thing you should do is file a report with the Federal Trade Commission. Although the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t have the ability to pursue criminal charges, its information is often used by law enforcement agencies to track down perpetrators. In addition, after you’ve reported the fraud, you’ll receive a recovery plan and prefilled forms to use to file police reports and dispute fraudulent charges with the credit bureaus.

File a report with the police

The next thing you should do after having your identity stolen is to file a report with your local police department. Although your local police department may be of limited assistance if your identity was stolen by criminals online or overseas, it will be able to help you if the theft took place locally. 

Notify the IRS  

If your Social Security number was used to file an income tax return, you should report this to the IRS. This can be accomplished by submitting a Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit to the IRS. 

Follow up with the major credit bureaus

Identity theft often results in destroyed credit. Therefore, if your identity has been stolen, you should immediately contact the three major credit bureaus and request that a fraud alert be placed on your account. This alert will stay on your credit report for a year, and it lets any institution that pulls your credit report know that your identity may be compromised. 

Initiate a credit freeze and review your credit reports

You should also review your credit reports and consider initiating a credit freeze. When you check your credit reports, you should see if any accounts have been opened that you don’t recognize. And a credit freeze will prevent the credit bureaus from sharing your report with anyone who requests it. This will prevent lenders and other parties from accessing your reports before you’ve had a chance to sort them out. 

Contact a Consumer Class Action Attorney Today! 

Finally, if you are a victim of identity theft, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Often, identity theft occurs due to the negligence of financial organizations and other businesses that store or have access to your personal financial information. When a person or entity provides third parties access to your financial information without your permission, we will work to ensure that they are held financially accountable for their actions. Our class action team has extensive investigative, litigation and trial experience, which allows us to effectively represent you in your consumer class action lawsuit. In addition, we have the experience and resources to take on major corporations and big businesses in court. Please contact us today for a consultation.

An attorney helping a couple with their class action lawsuit.

Class Action Lawsuits: Answers to Common Questions

Many people have at least a passing familiarity with class action lawsuits, as they are frequently the topic of news stories, TV shows, and advertisements. However, most people’s understanding of class action lawsuits begins and ends with the idea that they are legal actions brought by groups of people instead of individuals. While this is correct, there is obviously much more to a class action lawsuit than the number of people involved. Below are answers to common questions people have about class action lawsuits. 

What are class action lawsuits?

A class action lawsuit is a legal action that is filed on behalf of a class of people who all have similar claims against a defendant or defendants. The case is filed in court by one or several class representatives or lead plaintiffs. After the case is filed, the court determines whether it’s appropriate to allow the matter to move forward as a class action. In order for the case to proceed as a class action, the following factors must be met: 

  • Numerosity – There must be enough individual claims to make class certification the most efficient way to proceed. 
  • Commonality – The claims must be sufficiently alike.
  • Typicality – The proposed class representatives’ claims must be typical of all class members’ claims.
  • Adequacy – The class representatives must be able and willing to represent the class fairly and effectively. 

How does a class action settlement or judgment affect the class?

Members of the class in a class action lawsuit are bound by the terms of the class action settlement or judgment. If the class action lawsuit is one that seeks monetary damages, the class members ordinarily receive notice of the proceedings, a description of the lawsuit, and instructions on how to opt-out. Those class members who opt out can not obtain any financial recovery from the lawsuit. 

What type of relief is possible in a class action lawsuit? 

The majority of class action lawsuits seek some kind of financial relief for each class member. A class action may also request that the court declare and define the obligations and rights of the class versus the defendant. This is known as a “declaratory judgment” class action. Also, a class action sometimes seeks what is called “injunctive relief.” In this type of case, if the class obtains a judgment or settlement, the court can order the defendant to cease certain conduct or to take a certain action.

Contact LehrmanClassAction.com Today to Discuss Your Claim

For your class action lawsuit needs in Florida, you should contact our Florida consumer class action lawyer. Florida class action attorney Seth Lehrman and his class action team have extensive investigative, litigation, and trial experience. Mr. Lehrman’s firm has the experience and resources to effectively represent you in your class actions lawsuit. If you need class action legal assistance, please contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

Woman receiving a robocall.

New Study Finds That Over 200 Million Robocalls Are Placed Each Day

Robocalls are out of control. In fact, a study recently found that over 200 million robocalls are placed each day. This is an astonishing figure. Robocalls can range from annoying to dangerous, and many people, unfortunately, accept them as an unavoidable part of life. However, there is hope for those affected by robocalls. In fact, the law provides the victims of robocalls with financial compensation under certain circumstances. So, if you’re a victim of unwanted robocalls, please review the information below, and contact a Florida TCPA attorney as soon as possible for assistance.   

Key findings from the study

In addition to the astronomical number of robocalls placed each day, the study made the following findings:

  • Nuisance calls (calls that are annoying but lack malicious intent), are increasing at a faster rate than high-risk calls (scams and/or fraudulent calls). 
  • Robocall hijacking of mobile numbers has doubled. Hijacking involves the illegal spoofing of a caller ID. 
  • Approximately one in 1,700 cell phone numbers are commandeered every month, which is more than double last year’s rate. 
  • Robocallers are increasingly moving from spoofing VoIP numbers to toll-free numbers.
  • More than eight in 10 calls from the top 10 toll-free numbers are either high-risk or nuisance calls.
  • Neighbor spoofing is increasing. Neighbor spoofing is the act of calling someone with a phone number similar to his or her own to increase the chances that he or she will answer. This tactic now accounts for approximately 25% of all robocalls. 
  • Snowshoe spamming is increasing. Snowshoe spamming occurs when a spammer spoof calls over several telephone numbers in low volume and rapidly moves through them to avoid detection by the authorities.  

What can you do about robocalls?

Not only are robocalls increasing in frequency, but scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of these calls. Luckily, you can fight back against unwanted robocalls. With a  Florida TCPA attorney on your side, not only will we help you combat these calls, but we may be able to help you obtain financial compensation  

You may be entitled to financial compensation

With the assistance of an experienced Florida TCPA lawyer, may be entitled to up to $1500 for each documented violation of the TCPA law. Unsolicited robocalls are not only annoying—they’re against the law. Debt collection calls, advertisements, fraudulent schemes to swindle consumers out of money, identity theft scams, and calls seeking personal information are just a few of the types of unwanted calls with which today’s consumers find themselves bombarded. If you are a victim of telemarketer harassment of any kind, Seth Lehrman is here to help. Attorney Seth Lehrman represents people who have received unwanted robocalls or texts in TCPA cases in Florida and nationwide. If you have received unsolicited calls from telemarketers or have been subjected to other harassing behavior by telemarketers, please contact our law firm for a free consultation.

Lehrmanclassaction.com discusses how you can take a lawsuit against Juul products.

Juul Lawsuits for People Who Have Been Injured by Juul Products

Juuling, which is a kind of vaping, is named after the popular Juul e-cigarette. This form of vaping makes up approximately 30 percent of the e-cigarette market. And although these types of e-cigarettes are intended to help adults quit smoking, teens are rapidly becoming hooked on them—and this has led to legal action against vape companies.

One such case was recently filed by a New York teen who argues that the company hooked him on flavored e-cigarettes through the use of deceptive advertising. The teen, who is now 19 and began Juuling at only 15 years old, claims to suffer from serious medical problems due to his addiction to Juul’s products. The suit, which is seeking class-action status, contends that the teen never smoked regular cigarettes but was attracted to vaping due to misleading advertising online and in local stores. He quickly became addicted to the company’s flavored pods and still uses them today.  

The suit alleges that the teen, based on JUUL’s advertisements, believed these products were safe and wouldn’t cause adverse health effects. In addition, the lawsuit contends that Juul fraudulently marketed its products to minors using themes including popularity, sexuality, social events, parties, and celebrity.

The lawsuit is one of over 150 such suits filed against Juul since 2018, and it comes amid growing backlash against vaping. In fact, many states have begun to ban flavored vaping liquids, including New York, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Public health officials have reported over a dozen vaping-related deaths nationwide and over 800 cases of breathing and lung illnesses that are believed to be related to e-cigarette use. Most troubling is the fact that many of the victims of Juuling and vaping are individuals under the age of 18 years old. In New York, for example, it is estimated that nearly 40 percent of high school seniors and 30 percent of overall high school students use vaping products.  

Are you suffering from health problems due to Juuling? 

If you are suffering from health problems due to Juuling or vaping, you need an experienced Florida class action attorney on your side. Our class action team has successfully prosecuted consumer class-action lawsuits against a variety of large corporations. In fact, we have secured judgments and settlements totaling more than $100 million for consumers and businesses. Our cases cover a range of illegal business practices, including illegal robocalls, unfair debt collection practices, consumer overcharges, defective and dangerous products, fraud and false advertising, breach of contract, mortgage fraud, and unfair business practices. Our class action team has the tools and experience necessary to effectively present our case and get you the results you deserve. Therefore, if you have been victimized by the vaping industry in any way, please contact our experienced class action attorneys today for a consultation. 

Lehrmanclassaction.com discusses how federal lawmakers seek to stop unwanted robocalls.

Federal Lawmakers Seek to Stop Unwanted Robocalls

Federal lawmakers recently introduced legislation intended to provide Americans with relief from unwanted robocalls. With the introduction of the Traced Act and the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, lawmakers have put telemarketers on notice regarding unwanted robocalls. The Traced Act addresses the use of spoofed calls with fake caller IDs, while the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act requires rules that are intended to prevent abusive and unwanted robocalls. 

Understanding the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act

Americans receive more than 4 billion robocalls every month, with the top sources of robocalls being creditors and debt collectors. The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act proposes relief to consumers by amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to require telemarketers to obtain consent prior to making calls. In addition, the Act requires telemarketers to cease calling consumers when requested. Under the current Telephone Consumer Protection Act, nonconsensual calls placed to cell phones made using an automated dialing system are prohibited. However, some telemarketers have argued that they are exempt from this law due to an argument over the definition of the term “autodialer,” which is an important part of the law’s language. This recent legislation is intended to address this issue and make clear that nonconsensual robocalls of any kind are unacceptable. 

Strongly opposed to these bills are the debt collectors and creditors who stand to benefit from the use of robocalls, some of whom are powerful and influential corporations. These organizations argue that consumers benefit from robocalls from telemarketers and debt collectors and that the proposed legislation is far too burdensome. 

By introducing these two strong bills, federal lawmakers have put telemarketers on notice that consumers are fed up with unwanted robocalls. However, it remains to be seen whether this legislation will ultimately be signed into law. In the meantime, all consumers affected by robocalls should take action to address this issue. And the best way to take action is to immediately contact a Florida TCPA attorney.

Contact our experienced Florida TCPA attorney today 

If you are a victim of unwanted robocalls, you need a Florida TCPA attorney on your side. With the assistance of an experienced Florida TCPA lawyer, you may be entitled to up to $1500 for each documented violation of the TCPA law. Unsolicited robocalls are not only annoying—they’re against the law. Debt collection calls, advertisements, fraudulent schemes to swindle consumers out of money, identity theft scams, and calls seeking personal information are just a few of the types of unwanted calls with which today’s consumers find themselves bombarded. If you are a victim of telemarketer harassment of any kind, Seth Lehrman is here to help. Attorney Seth Lehrman represents people who have received unwanted robocalls or texts in TCPA cases in Florida and nationwide. If you have received unsolicited calls from telemarketers or have been subjected to other harassing behavior by telemarketers, please contact our law firm for a free consultation.

Lehrmanclassaction.com discusses some important robocall facts and statistics.

Consumers Need to Know These Important Robocall Facts and Stats

For most people, unwanted phone calls from telemarketers are a common part of life. This problem is far more widespread than most people are aware. As is discussed below, billions of prerecorded calls from telemarketers, also known as robocalls, are made each month. Robocalls are automated calls that deliver a prerecorded message. Robocalls are used for a variety of purposes, many of which are scams. For example, some robocalls personalize the message to appear that a live person is making the call. Signs of a robocall include a pause or clicking noise at the start of the call or a prerecorded message at the start of a call. Unfortunately, many people believe that they are powerless to stop these calls. Luckily for consumers, this isn’t true. If you are a victim of telemarketer harassment, please review the information below and contact a Florida TCPA attorney as soon as possible to discuss your compensation options.   

Robocall Facts

Robocalls are a far greater problem than most people realize. The numbers are quite staggering. For example, the Robocall Index reports that 4.7 billion robocalls were placed in July 2019 alone. This breaks down to: 

  • 150.8M robocalls per day
  • 6.3M robocalls per hour
  • 1.7K robocalls per second
  • 14.2 robocalls per consumer

In addition:

  • Approximately 44% of robocalls were scams 
  • 12% of robocalls were from telemarketers
  • Approximately one-third of all robocalls are considered high risk or nuisance
  • Robocall user feedback has increased
  • The use of invalid phone numbers by telemarketers is on the rise

What can I do about robocalls?

You don’t have to accept robocalls as a daily part of life. There are several things you can do to fight back, including:

  • Register with the National Do Not Call Registry
  • Submit a complaint to the FCC
  • Hire a Florida TCPA attorney

Contact Our Experienced Attorney Today 

If you are a victim of unwanted robocalls, you need a Florida TCPA attorney on your side. With the assistance of an experienced Florida lawyer, you may be entitled to up to $1500 for each documented violation of the TCPA law. Unsolicited robocalls are not only annoying—they’re against the law. Debt collection calls, advertisements, fraudulent schemes to swindle consumers out of money, identity theft scams, and calls seeking personal information are just a few of the types of calls with which today’s consumers find themselves bombarded.

If you are a victim of telemarketer harassment of any kind, Seth Lehrman is here to help. Attorney Seth Lehrman represents people who have received unwanted calls or texts in TCPA cases in Florida and nationwide. If you have received unsolicited calls or have been subjected to other harassing behavior by telemarketers, please contact our law firm for a free consultation.

Seth Lehrman discusses the most common credit report errors and solutions.

Common Credit Report Errors (and Solutions)

Credit report errors can have a devastating effect on your financial situation. Things, like buying a home, applying for a credit card, and even entering certain professions, can hinge on the accuracy of your credit report. Therefore, it is imperative that you take steps to correct credit report errors before they negatively impact your life. Common credit report errors include:

  • Account inaccuracies  
  • Identity errors 
  • Fraudulent accounts

If your credit report contains inaccuracies, please review the information below and contact a Florida consumer protection and commercial litigation attorney as soon as possible. 

What to do if your credit report has errors

If you discover errors on your credit report, you should take the following steps: 

Contact the credit reporting bureau 

Following the discovery of an error on your credit report, you should contact the credit reporting bureau to report the error. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting companies to correct inaccurate or incomplete credit report information. Therefore, if there is an error on your credit report, the law is on your side. In order to report the error, you should send a letter to the credit reporting bureau via certified mail. In this letter, detail all the disputed information and a request to have it removed from your credit report. Following the receipt of your letter, the credit reporting bureau must investigate the issue within 30 days and notify the creditor reporting the information to perform an investigation. If the creditor discovers that the disputed information is inaccurate, it is required to notify all three national credit reporting companies.

Contact the creditor directly 

If a creditor has reported incorrect information to the credit bureaus or you believe you may be a victim of identity theft, you may need to contact the creditor directly. Make sure that you document any contact you have with the creditor. Although this may not immediately solve your problem, it can assist you down the road in having the incorrect information removed from your credit report. This is particularly true if you hire an experienced Florida consumer protection and commercial litigation attorney to assist you. 

Contact a Florida consumer protection and commercial litigation attorney  

If you have errors on your credit report or feel that your rights as a consumer have been violated in any way, you need experienced legal representation on your side. Whether you have been the victim of fraud, telemarketer harassment, credit report errors, or identity theft, you may be entitled to compensation. Backed by decades of experience trying cases in state and federal court, Seth Lehrman and the Edwards Pottinger team will fight to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for your rights and holding responsible parties accountable for violating federal and state consumer protection laws. Please contact us now to schedule a consultation.

Take legal action against telemarketer harassment

Can I Take Legal Action Against Telemarketers?

We’ve all received unwanted phone calls or texts from telemarketers. In fact, telemarketers often persist in contacting us even after we’ve asked them to stop. Sadly, many people believe that they are powerless to stop telemarketer harassment. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. What most people don’t realize is that there are strict laws and guidelines that telemarketers must follow, and violations are taken very seriously by authorities. Below is some information on the legal steps you can take to stop telemarketer harassment. 

Register with the National Do Not Call Registry

In addition to instructing telemarketers to not contact you again, you can register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Following registration, telemarketers are supposed to cease contacting you after 31 days. If you continue to receive calls after this initial 31-day period, you can file a complaint with the registry. 

Submit a complaint 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the agency responsible for ensuring that companies don’t violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This is the primary law regulating the behavior of telemarketers. Since most unwanted calls from telemarketers violate the TCPA, you can report such behavior directly to the FCC. 

Hire a Florida TCPA attorney 

Finally, if you are a victim of telemarketer harassment, you should consider hiring a Florida TCPA attorney. With the assistance of an experienced Florida lawyer, you may be entitled to up to $1500 for each documented violation of the TCPA. Specifically, victims of telemarketer harassment may be compensated as follows:

  • $500 for each violation of the Do Not Call Registry
  • $500 for each violation of the TCPA
  • $1500 for each knowing and willful violation of the TCPA

However, in order to receive compensation, it’s imperative that you document this behavior. For example, it’s a good idea to keep a written record of all unwanted contact after you instruct the telemarketer to stop calling you. Also, you should take screenshots of each unwanted call or text you receive. With this kind of information, your attorneys will be better equipped to fight for you. 

Contact our experienced attorney today

Unsolicited contact from telemarketers is not only annoying—it’s against the law. Debt collection calls, advertisements, fraudulent schemes to swindle consumers out of money, identity theft scams, and calls seeking personal information are just a few calls that consumers are bombarded with. If you are a victim of this type of harassment, Seth Lehrman and the Edwards Pottinger team are here to help. Attorney Seth Lehrman represents people who receive unwanted calls or texts in TCPA cases in Florida and nationwide. If you receive unsolicited calls or experience other harassing behaviors by telemarketers, contact our law firm for a free consultation.

How to Choose a Class Action Attorney in Florida

Businesses often engage in deceptive practices that harm consumers. Abusive robocalls, bait-and-switch advertising, and other unscrupulous business practices are a major problem in Florida and the United States. These kinds of practices not only harm consumers, but they often violate both state and federal laws in the process. One way in which aggrieved consumers can fight back is through class action lawsuits.

What is a class action lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a legal action that involves a class of individuals who share similar or identical injuries as a result of a defendant’s actions. Common types of class action lawsuits include:

  • False advertising and fraud
  • Breach of contract
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Unfair business practices
  • TCPA cases involving abusive junk texts, robocalls, or unsolicited fax advertisements
  • Unfair and illegal debt collection practices
  • Consumer overcharges
  • Defective and dangerous products

Choosing a class action attorney in Florida

Attempting to take on a big company by yourself in the legal arena is extremely difficult. Therefore, if you have suffered injuries similar to others at the hands of a corporation, you need the assistance of a Florida class action attorney. When choosing a class action attorney in Florida, you should look for the following:

  • Experience – Experience is extremely important when selecting a class action attorney to handle your case. In addition to choosing a Florida class action attorney with years of class action experience, you should select a firm that has experience handling cases similar to your own. For example, if you have suffered injuries due to a defective and dangerous product, you should make sure that your class action attorney has experience handling this type of case.
  • Resources – Make sure that the class action attorney you’re considering has the resources required to handle your case. In addition, the attorney you select should have a proven track record of fighting big companies in court, as this is often an indication that a firm has ample resources.
  • Stability – Finally, when choosing a class action attorney, look for a stable law firm with a great track record. A history of successfully handling large class action lawsuits is an excellent indication that a firm is stable and respected.  

South Florida Class Action Attorneys

Class action lawsuits require experienced and aggressive legal representation. At Edwards Pottinger LLC, we are skilled litigators and experienced trial attorneys who routinely pursue civil lawsuits against powerful individuals, organizations, and big businesses on behalf of individuals and small businesses. As part of our class action practice, our South Florida Class Action Attorneys are committed to protecting victims, achieving justice for consumers, protecting privacy, and supporting people who blow the whistle on fraud. If you require legal assistance, we’re ready to put our knowledge and skill to work for you. Please contact us immediately for a free consultation.

Here’s What to Do When Debt Collectors Break the Law

A law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is intended to protect consumers from aggressive debt collectors and agencies. When a debt collector violates this law, he or she faces serious potential consequences. If you’ve been negatively affected by a debt collector’s illegal practices, there are several actions you may take to remedy the situation. These options, however, are most effective when pursued with the assistance of experienced South Florida Class Action Attorneys. So, if you are a victim of illegal debt collection practices, review the options below and immediately contact our South Florida class action attorneys as soon as possible.

Take the debt collector to state court

If you are a victim of illegal debt collection practices, you may sue the debt collector in state court. In your lawsuit, you must demonstrate that the debt collector violated the FDCPA. If you are successful, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Report the violation

You may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to report FDCPA violations. And if a debt collector has violated state laws, you may also contact the Attorney General’s office to receive guidance on a possible FDCPA lawsuit and for a possible state law action against the debt collector. Reporting the violation will help to ensure that other consumers aren’t victimized in the future.

Use the violation to your advantage

Finally, if you actually owe money to the debt collector and would like to settle your debt, you may be able to use the debt collector’s violation of the FDCPA to your advantage. Understanding the high cost of an FDCPA lawsuit, a debt collector in violation of the law may be receptive to a proposal to settle your debt. This can be particularly effective if you have hard evidence of the debt collector’s violation. Of course, before pursuing this or any of the above options, it is necessary to first contact a South Florida consumer protection and commercial litigation attorney.

Florida Consumer Protection and Commercial Litigation Attorney

If you are a victim of illegal debt collection practices, you need aggressive legal representation. At Edwards Pottinger, our experienced Florida attorneys are dedicated to fighting marketplace injustice in all its forms, including illegal debt collection practices. Backed by decades of extensive experience trying cases in both state and federal court, Seth Lehrman and the Edwards Pottinger team are widely recognized for helping victims of unfair business practices achieve the justice they deserve. Regardless of your legal issue, our aggressive and compassionate Florida attorneys will take the time to discuss your rights, explore your options, and help you navigate the legal system. Therefore, if you or a loved one have been victimized by the illegal practices of a debt collector, please contact us immediately to schedule a consultation and begin your road to financial recovery.