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Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Consumers want to spend as little money as possible, companies want to make as much money as possible, and we all expect both sides to be up front and honest about the transaction. But what happens if manufacturers or retailers use misleading tactics to entice sales or make false claims about their products?

Those devices are called “deceptive trade practices” and can include everything from overstating the weight-loss benefits of diet pills to rolling back a used car’s odometer. Fortunately, there are laws in the Badger State to protect citizens from false advertising and similar shady tactics. Here is a quick introduction to deceptive trade practice laws in Wisconsin.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

While Wisconsin has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the state has its own Wisconsin Consumer Act in place. The state’s deceptive trade practices laws are highlighted in the following table.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted

No; Wisconsin Consumer Act (§§421 to 427)

False Advertising Forbidden

Yes (§423.301)

Who May Bring Suit

Class actions; individuals; administrator (§426.110)

Remedies Available

Customer entitled to retain goods received without obligation to pay and recover any sums paid to merchant (§425.305); fine up to $2,000 (§425.401); injunction, attorney's fees (§426.110)

Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden

Yes (§347.415) up to $5,000 fine and/or up to 12 months in county jail (§347.50)

Protecting Yourself Against Deceptive Trade Practices

Even with laws in place, consumers must be on guard for any kind of scam. You can contact a/content/www/public/state/wisconsin-law/wisconsin-second-degree-murder.htmlconsumer protection office in your area if you think a person or local business has engaged in deceptive business practices. The consumer protection office can give you information about ongoing consumer scams as well as investigate and prosecute scammers under criminal statutes.

In addition to state laws and resources, there are also federal agencies you can contact to report deceptive trade practices, such as And a number of nonprofits, like the Better Business Bureau at, can assist you in filing consumer fraud complaints. You can also visit to fill out a fraud complaint online, and forward it to the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies.

Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Laws: Related Resources

Consumer scams and deceptive trade practices can change as quickly as the state laws that protect us against them. You can visit FindLaw's Consumer Protection section for additional articles and resources on this topic. You can also contact a Wisconsin consumer protection attorney if you would like legal advice regarding possible consumer fraud or a deceptive trade practices matter.

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