Consumer Protection Act(TCA § 47-18-125)
Under this Act, if an unfair or deceptive act or practice is committed against a consumer who is 60 years of age or older, then the violation is $10,000 for each violation, rather than the typical $1,000 per violation.
Spoofing Law (TCA § 47-18-2301)
This year, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law making it a crime (Class A misdemeanor) to Spoof caller ID with a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. Spoofing is when a Scammer uses technology to make a call or text appear as though it is coming from a legitimate number even though it is not. For instance, the number on your cell phone may appear to be from the utility company or the police department, and it is actually from a Scammer in another state or country.
Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act (TCA § 39-15-501)
This year, the “Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act” was enacted. Importantly, this Act increases the criminal penalties for any person who abuses, neglects, or exploits a person 65 or older. For example, this Act increases the offense from a Class D felony to a Class E felony. It also requires courts to impose certain minimum fines these convictions in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed for financial exploitation.
Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Financial Exploitation Prevention Act (TCA § 45-2-2201)
This year, the “Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Financial Exploitation Prevention Act” was passed. If a financial service provider, such as a bank, suspects that financial exploitation may have occurred or is being attempting, the bank may refuse or delay the financial transaction and report it to the Department of Human Services (Adult Protective Services Division).
Identity Theft Victims Rights Act of 2004 (TCA § 39-14-150)
In Tennessee, identity theft is charged as a Class D felony, carrying a prison sentence of between 2- 12 years and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, the state may recover attorney fees and other legal costs, while a civil court may award the victim three times the actual damages and attorney's fees.
The Tennessee Identity Theft Deterrence Act of 1999 (Data Breach Notification Law) (TCA § 47-18-2107)
This Act generally requires businesses, the State, or any political subdivision of the State, to notify any data breach to TN residents whose personal information was or may have been acquired by an “unauthorized person”. This year, this Act was amended to provide that “unauthorized person” may include, not only someone who has intentionally used the information for an unlawful purpose, but, also, a person who intends to use it for an unlawful purpose. In Tennessee, the organization must provide notice of the data breach within 45 days, unless law enforcement requires an extension for legitimate reasons.
The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977 and other related laws may be found at the following: