Deception Law & Legal Definition


Generally deception is the act of causing one to believe information that is not true or an untruth or not the whole truth. The Federal Trade Commission will find an act or practice deceptive if there is a misrepresentation, omission, or other practice that misleads the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer's detriment.

Example of a State Statute ( Indiana) on Deception

In Indiana, Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-43-5-3, makes deception or criminal deception a Class A misdemeanor.

The relevant law as it appears in the statute

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-43-5-3. Deception.

(a) A person who:

(1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent;

(2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity;

(3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted;

(4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either:

(A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or

(B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity;

(5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service;

(6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property;

(7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine;

(8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug;

(9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

(10) with intent to defraud, misrepresents a person as being a physician licensed under IC 25-22.5; or

(11) knowingly and intentionally defrauds another person furnishing cable TV service by avoiding paying compensation for that service by any scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service;

commits deception, a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) In determining whether an advertisement is false, misleading, or deceptive under subsection (a) (9), there shall be considered, among other things, not only representations contained or suggested in the advertisement, by whatever means, including device or sound, but also the extent to which the advertisement fails to reveal material facts in the light of the representations.