When it comes to identity theft, fraud, scams, and other related crimes, no one is off limits.
While anyone can certainly be a victim, there are specific scams that target senior citizens, veterans, children, businesses and schools, charitable organizations, and more. Many of these scams play off of characteristics that are unique to the particular demographic of victims, such as offering fake veterans’ benefits or phishing attempts that steal children’s identities.
In order to reach as wide an audience as possible, the Federal Trade Commission offers a lot of information and resources in both English and Spanish.
The FTC takes crimes against consumers very seriously, and these uniquely targeted crimes are no different. However, identity theft and fraud crimes against Hispanic victims often go unreported for a variety of reasons, which is something that the agency is working to correct. According to their findings, “Reporting fraud helps stop it. Case in point: last year, the FTC stopped a scam in which Spanish-speakers were offered an English course but ended up being illegally threatened and intimidated into paying money they didn’t owe. People reported the fraud to the FTC and those reports helped stop the scam.”
One of the many resources the FTC maintains is a blog in Spanish to highlight some of the scams and fraud attempts that have been reported by members of the Hispanic community. They also offer a series of eight Spanish-language “fotonovellas” to illustrate different ways that these crimes have manifested with actual victims. The fotonovellas are short, graphic novel re-enactments of possible scenarios, highlighting the fraud and explaining how to take further action.
Additional educational and awareness materials are also available in both English and Spanish through the FTC’s website, and they provide community members with further resources to learn about this type of crime—both in order to minimize their risk as well as recover if a crime has already occurred. The FTC also offers its online resources in both English and Spanish, with links to both here.
Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.