Am I protected from fraudulent or misrepresented claims in person-to-person transactions?

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Am I protected from fraudulent or misrepresented claims in person-to-person transactions?

I purchased an item from a seller on craigslist. Their ad said it was was 120gb and worked like new. First of all, the battery was dead so it wasn’t working like new, and when I registered the serial number on the company website it turned out to be a 30gb, not 120gb.

Asked on June 26, 2011 under General Practice, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Fraud is illegal in any sale or transaction or contract, whether between a company and a consumer or a person to person transaction. It's also illegal whether it was an in-person transaction or one done over the Internet. Fraud is the intentional or knowing misprepresentation (or lie) of a material (or important) fact, made to induce (or convince) the other party to enter into a transaction, where it was reasonable for the other party to rely on that false representation. If the criteria for fraud are met by the circumstances of this sale, you'd have a right to rescind the sale, return the battery, and get your money back. Whether or not suing the other party, if they don't voluntarily agree to rescind the transaction, would be economically worthwhile is a different matter, obviously--sometimes you have rights, but it's too expensive to enforce them.


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