Sometimes, scammers set out to target a particular community. Sometimes, they tell a group to pay in specific ways. (Specific ways that make it very hard to get their money back, after they discover the scam.) There are also businesses who harm communities by using tactics that trick people into use their services. So, what do scams and bad business practices look like in the Latino community?
Reports to the FTC show that majority Latino communities are more likely to file reports about credit bureaus, banks and lenders, debt collection, auto issues, and business opportunities. Those same reports show that majority Latino communities are more likely to say they paid in cash, crypto, debit card, or by bank or wire transfer — all ways with few (if any) consumer protections or ways to get your money back.
In a recent case, the FTC sued a company that promoted bogus business coaching and real estate investment schemes to Spanish-speakers. The company, Ganadores (ironically, “winners” in Spanish), drew people in with Spanish language social media ads promising big earnings selling on Amazon, or by investing in real estate — and charging them big money for supposed “coaching” programs. And that’s just one case.
Since scammers sometimes target the Latino community, let’s target a shared response to those scams and bad business practices. Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to share resources and tools, and to take action.
- Order and share the FTC’s series of fotonovelas, graphic novels that educate through storytelling. They’re free, along with lots more at ftc.gov/ordenar.
- Subscribe and share Consumer Alerts in English or Spanish. They’ll keep you up to date on the latest scams.
- Learn and share some consumer protection basics at consumidor.gov and consumer.gov.
Spread the word at community events, gathering places, or just among friends and family. And tell people in your community that, if they spot a scam or bad business practice, tell the FTC: ReportFraud.ftc.gov (in English) or ReporteFraude.ftc.gov (in Spanish.) Every report makes a difference.