Tuesday, November 22, 2005

FTC Publishes Consumer Warnings en Espanol

The Federal Trade Commission is now publishing information in Spanish (Espanol) on internet scams and how to avoid identity theft.

"A recent consumer fraud survey commissioned by the FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, found that Hispanics, whether they are Spanish speakers or not, are about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be victims of consumer fraud."

In fact not only Hispanics, but according to this survey, minorities in general are becoming more likely to be victims of internet fraud.

“We found that American Indians and Alaska Natives, African Americans, and Hispanics are more likely to be victims of fraud than non-Hispanic whites,” said Howard Beales, Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. "These findings will help us fine-tune our Hispanic Law Enforcement and Outreach Initiative, and explore additional opportunities to target frauds aimed at communities which are at risk."

Could this be because of a lack of communication venues to warn these groups?

The top 10 frauds listed in the report include: "Advance-fee loan scams – 4.55 million victims; Buyers clubs – 4.05 million victims; Credit card insurance – 3.35 million victims;
Credit repair – 2 million victims; Prize promotions – 1.8 million victims; Internet services – 1.75 million victims; Pyramid schemes – 1.55 million victims; Information services – .8 million victims; Government job offers – .65 million victims; and Business opportunities – .45 million victims."

With computer technology and internet services becoming cheaper and more available all the time, the number of potential victims is rising. I think the FTC's actions in making their warnings more accesible (user friendly) is admirable.

After all, internet fraud has become a global problem and is committed in more than one language. Here is a "techie" tool anyone can use to translate text from one language to another, AltaVista Babel Fish.

For the FTC's information in Spanish, go to Alerta en LĂ­nea.

For those of us, who want some relevant holiday tips on how to avoid becoming victims of the cyber grinches in English, go to the FTC's Holiday shopping alert [Text] [PDF].

1 comment:

Anil said...

Dear Fred,
Can you check out http://weborigin.com? They have an online data-entry plan that sounds too good to be true, and for which you need to pay $150 upfront. Thanks for your efforts.