What do you do if you get a complaint that you are involved in a class action lawsuit? Is it real or a scam? And how can you answer if it is the real thing? The Answers to These and Other Questions in this week’s Issues will have the answers to all of these and many more. So let’s get started….
Class Action Lawsuit Scams
First, let me say that it is very important to read and understand any document that purports to be from an attorney, or any “lawyer” for that matter. (There is nothing wrong with being referred to as an “attorney” who is just trying to help you out with your lawsuit.) If they do not tell you what the fee will be at signing that document, then they are probably not a lawyer.
Second, be sure that the person who is “writing” the complaint on your behalf is not actually an attorney.
They may look like an attorney, but they do not have any license to practice law, so do not sign anything for them. A Class Action Lawsuit is a fraud on the court system, and people involved in such lawsuits should not be trusted. A Class Action Lawsuit scam is also called a “faker” because they are trying to make a profit by fooling people into paying money to go to court. They do not want to have to deal with a court battle, so they try to get people to sign their names on dotted lines.
Third, if they tell you that a lawyer will be with you, be careful.
If you are pressured to pay for their services up front, or told that a certain type of paperwork needs to be filled out before you can proceed, then they are probably involved in Class Action Lawsuit scams. Lawyers are not part of any lawsuit transactions; they do not help you obtain any money, they do not fight your case for you, and they do not offer any legal advice.
Fourth, if you go to them and ask what your obligations are, and they tell you that “everyone in the class is going to be paid a lot, and you are only going to have to pay this much”, do not believe it.
The only time that people actually get paid a lot of money from a class action lawsuit is when there is an offer period, or there is a special rule regarding how much people have to pay out of pocket before their case gets settled. It does not matter whether you are actually “paying” a fee to someone else, or if there is a “fee” that must be paid in order to “accomplish” something. A lawsuit scam will tell you that everyone in the class will get paid lots of money, and they will not tell you that you have to pay any money up front. These types of scams always require money up front in order to get started.
Finally, there are some “free” class action lawsuit scams. You may find websites on the internet that claim to have “tons of free survey companies”.
There are usually pop-up windows that ask you to fill out forms, and give you a survey link to email back to make your own survey. When you click the link, you will see a pop up message stating that your survey is being offered free with your membership. If you ever encounter a website like this, do not waste any time or money, and report the website to the Better Business Bureau immediately for illegal advertising.