• Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

Identifying Fraudulent and Unethical Business Practices within the Latino Community


Sep 18, 2023
Identifying Fraudulent and Unethical Business Practices within the Latino Community

Scammers can target anyone, but the ways in which scams and bad business practices affect different communities vary. In some cases, scammers specifically go after certain communities, while in others, they instruct a group to make payments in ways that make it difficult to recover their money once they realize they have been scammed. Additionally, there are businesses that deceive people into using their services, ultimately causing harm to communities. This raises the question: What do scams and bad business practices look like within the Latino community?

According to reports made to the FTC, Latino communities are more likely to file complaints about credit bureaus, banks and lenders, debt collection, auto issues, and business opportunities. These reports also indicate that Latino communities are more inclined to make payments in cash, crypto, debit card, or through bank or wire transfers, which offer little to no consumer protection or opportunities for refunds.

As an example, the FTC recently filed a lawsuit against a company called Ganadores (which ironically means “winners” in Spanish) for promoting fraudulent business coaching and real estate investment schemes to Spanish-speaking individuals. The company used Spanish-language social media ads to lure people in, promising significant profits from selling on Amazon or real estate investments. They charged hefty amounts for their supposed “coaching” programs. Unfortunately, this is just one of many cases.

Given that scammers sometimes target the Latino community, it becomes crucial to respond collectively to these scams and bad business practices. Hispanic Heritage Month provides an excellent opportunity to share resources, tools, and take action.

One way to do so is by ordering and sharing the FTC’s fotonovelas, which are graphic novels that educate through storytelling. These resources, along with many others, are available for free at ftc.gov/ordenar.

Subscribing to and sharing Consumer Alerts in English or Spanish is another helpful step to stay updated on the latest scams.

Learning and sharing consumer protection basics at consumidor.gov and consumer.gov can empower individuals within the community.

Spreading the word at community events, gathering places, or simply among friends and family is also essential. It is vital to let people in the community know that if they come across a scam or bad business practice, they should report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov for English speakers or ReporteFraude.ftc.gov for Spanish speakers. Each report can make a significant difference in combating these issues.

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