How to Recognize a Class Action Lawsuit Scam

Man reading emails on his laptop computer
••• shironosov/iStock/GettyImages

Although class action lawsuits can be profitable for individuals who are part of a class of people who have been injured, there are also many scams associated with these types of lawsuits. Before agreeing to sign on with a class action suit, check to make sure that the lawsuit is legitimate and not part of a scam designed to get money from you.

Beware Emails

If you receive a class action lawsuit notice by email, treat it as suspicious. Don't fill out any information or click on any links that it provides. If you're truly considered to be a person who could possibly be a claimant in this type of lawsuit, you are generally notified by mail.

Do Some Research Online

Do a little research online to determine if the lawsuit is legitimate. The law firm named in the letter will probably have a website set up with information for potential claimants. The firm's website should provide information about the attorneys and the firm's practice areas.

Some class action suits involve customers who used or purchased a product from a company. Go to the website for Class Action World to find out if a class action suit of this type is legitimate. You can check to see if there are any current, pending or settled lawsuits. They're listed in alphabetical order by company name. The site also offers a list of dangerous or defective products. If the lawsuit you were notified of is not on this list, it is probably not real.

When the Suit Involves Investors

Look up information for a class action lawsuit involving investors, stocks or bonds by visiting the website of the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse. You can look up both pending and settled lawsuits. Enter the name of the company in the "Litigation Name" box and search. If nothing comes up, your lawsuit may be a scam.

What to Do

If you suspect that a class action lawsuit email or other notification is a scam, report it to your attorney general. Do not act on anything that the scammers send you and do not provide them with any personal information.

Related Articles