Happy National Consumer Protection Week!
Every day we interact with the economy as consumers in multiple ways—whether using our debit and credit cards, making payments on mortgages or rent, or using mobile banking services. Because there are now more opportunities than ever for fraud and financial scams, both online and offline, 78 government and nonprofit organizations have teamed up to offer a wealth of in-depth consumer resources on a wide variety of consumer protection topics.
We’re committed to building and preserving wealth in the Latino community and are proud to support National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) as a nonprofit partner. From preventing identity theft and financial fraud to explaining the safe way to buy and sell a home, the NCPW website contains vital information on your personal financial rights as a consumer.
Though we know immigrants greatly contribute to our economy, they are also often the targets of scams. For this reason, the NCPW website also contains numerous resources intended for immigrants and their families.
On the NCPW website, you’ll find an easy-to-use interface introducing the campaign and featuring new blog posts, highlighted partner organizations, and consumer protection resources. Click the “Consumer Topics” tab to find a list of categories.
While the site offers more than the topics listed below, here’s a quick look at some of the categories most relevant to Latino consumers:
- Banking: Latinos, one of the most underbanked ethnic groups, stand to gain from smart and safe banking practices. Resources include guides to choosing a bank versus a credit union, debit and credit card fraud prevention tips, interest rate explainers, and tips for secure and safe mobile banking. As Latinos enter the financial mainstream with bank accounts and credit cards, these resources offer a great introduction to help all Hispanics bank safety.
- Scam Alert: Without knowing what scams look like, we all become potential targets to scammers. Unfortunately, scammers often target vulnerable groups, including seniors, immigrants, and those who don’t speak English. This resource set covers many of the extensive types of financial fraud, including fake financial aid, phony charities, misleading mortgage advertisements, chain letters, and health fraud scams. Although scammers adapt quickly, the site offers a great starting point for protecting yourself from dangerous illegal financial schemes.
- International: This category offers a small set of resources about international scams related to immigration and visa issues. In these scams, fraudulent lawyers and businesspeople target potential visa applicants and immigrants seeking to get authorization to travel to the U.S. Many charge high fees while offering no help. Others claim that U.S. residents won money in foreign lotteries.
- Your Home: Over a million Latino families lost their homes during the Great Recession, and millions of Americans are still under water on their mortgages. This category deals with safe ways to handle mortgage problems and types of home maintenance. Fraudsters often target desperate homeowners with bogus offers to refinance their homes to prevent foreclosure. These schemes can involve hefty fees that go straight into the scammers’ pocketbooks and do nothing to help homeowners. This section is a great resource for homeowners and prospective homebuyers alike.