What should I do if I think I have been defrauded?

There are a number of steps you can take.  The first step is to contact the company that you believe has engaged in consumer fraud and try to get your problem resolved.  If you do not get satisfactory results from the person who answers the phone, ask to speak to a superior.  "Higher ups" in the company can often resolve a problem for a consumer even when lower-level employees cannot, especially if the problem is an isolated incident.  There are also numerous governmental and private organizations that can help you.  Most state Attorney General offices have consumer protection divisions, and many have consumer complaint hot lines and web pages.  Many states and larger cities have consumer protection boards, administrations, or agencies.  Federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission may also be helpful.  In addition, such organizations as the Better Business Bureau can be of invaluable assistance with complaints of consumer fraud.  You may also want to consult an attorney, especially if you have suffered a large loss or damage or you feel that your problem is also being experienced by a large number of other people.  Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, as well as other professionals in this area, will investigate your inquiries and advise you of your rights without any cost or obligation. IMPORTANT NOTE: However you decide to proceed, you should be sure to document the problem as completely as you can.  Save all receipts and written materials provided by the company.  Take notes on all of your conversations with the company.  It may be helpful in certain instances to take photographs if they will help to demonstrate a problem.  The more you can document about your purchase and any problems you are having, the better your chance of success.
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