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Fake internet reviews can potentially state claims for deception under Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) laws. UDAAP laws are designed to protect consumers from deceptive practices by businesses, including misleading statements about products and services. This protection ensures consumer confidence, particularly in financial transactions, and it addresses unfair practices that can financially harm consumers and which they cannot reasonably avoid.

Under these laws, if a business or service provider uses fake reviews to deceive consumers into making purchases or forms a misleading impression about their products or services, this could be construed as a violation of UDAAP. Civil penalties may apply in these cases, regardless of whether the deceptive acts were committed intentionally or accidentally. It’s important to note that the scope of UDAAP violations is broad and can encompass a range of deceptive practices, including those occurring in online environments.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has specifically addressed the issue of fake reviews and other misleading endorsements. The FTC is exploring rulemaking to combat deceptive or unfair review and endorsement practices, including the use of fake reviews, suppression of negative reviews, and payment for positive reviews. These actions are considered deceptive and can mislead consumers who rely on reviews for genuine feedback on products or services, and they can unfairly disadvantage honest businesses.

Overall, fake internet reviews have the potential to fall under UDAAP violations due to their deceptive nature and the misleading information they present to consumers. Continue reading ›

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