Illinois Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Business Practices Act

Illinois Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Business Practices Act

Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/) was enacted to “protect consumers and borrowers and businessmen against fraud, unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts and practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce”. Among other things, the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (the “Act”) prohibits pyramid schemes, “chain letter” sales techniques, as well as certain conduct in door to door sales and unlawful advertising conduct. The Act also provides additional protections for consumers from unfair collection practices that are supplementary in nature to the protections available under federal law through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The Act provides for civil and criminal liability, and a private cause of action to all persons who suffer damage as a result of a violation of the Act. Violations of the Act include the use of any
deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or concealment of facts in the conduct of trade or commerce. In order to maintain a cause of action for consumer fraud under the Act, you need to prove four elements of the cause of action:

In order to maintain a cause of action for consumer fraud, you need to prove:
  • A deceptive act or practice by the defendant
  • The defendant intending you to rely on their deception
  • The deception occurred in the course of conduct involving trade or commerce
  • Actual damages to the victim as a result of that deception
  • Unfair collection practices