MurphySPRINGFIELD – To address extended warranty fraud, State Senator Laura Murphy advanced a measure that would enable vehicle dealers to file suit against scammers that use their intellectual property to deceive consumers.

“Consumers deserve transparency and honesty, but aftermarket sellers often engage in deceitful practices to push unnecessary and overpriced plans,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “Through this legislation, we are laying out a way for automobile dealers whose likeness is used to deceive consumers to try to mend their damaged reputations.”

Extended warranty scams have become common in recent years. Frequently, fraudulent letters are marketed to look like they come from an official or authorized source, rather than an aftermarket extended services plan.

Under Murphy’s measure, car dealerships would have the ability to seek damages for the use of the dealer’s name, likeness, image, registered trademark or intellectual property without the dealer’s written permission. The court would also be able to award punitive damages and other equitable relief the court deems appropriate.

“It’s imperative that we enact stronger consumer protections to shield individuals from falling victim to predatory scams—and ensure that dealerships don’t suffer reputational damage from the use of their likeness,” Murphy said. “If a company engages in deceptive practices that damage the reputation of a dealership, they should receive a suitable punishment.”

House Bill 4447 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday and moves to the full Senate for consideration.