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FTC Now Offers Consumer Protection In Various Languages

-Editorial

Scammers know your language and know how to take advantage of people. That’s why the Federal Trade Commission is implementing to identify these scammers and stop them once and for all.

Being that the United States is a multilingual country, it is important to have these types of services regardless of the background of anyone.

The FTC now takes reports not only in English and Spanish but in multiple languages from Arabic to Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Korean to Somali, Tagalog, Russian Polish, Portuguese, and many more. FTC consumer fraud experts will explain why this new language access capacity will help give them a clearer picture of what scams are hitting what groups, even as it helps consumers report fraud — by phone or online — and get advice on how to prevent it in their preferred language.

“We sue companies and people who break the law and when possible we help people get their money back,” said Monica Vaca, Deputy Director for the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Our new enhancements are going to expand our ability to serve more communities, particularly those who are more comfortable speaking in languages other than English.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to combat scammers and protect consumers in every community, the Federal Trade Commission is now providing the ability to report fraud, scams, and deceptive practices in multiple languages in addition to English and Spanish.

The latest FTC data book says people reported losing $8.8 billion to scams. That’s $2.6 billion more than 2021. The number of reports is down by half a million (2022: 2.4 million reports. 2021: 2.9 million reports).

Investment scams were huge, with reported losses of $3.8 billion. That’s more than people lost to any other scam and more than double the loss reported in 2021.

Impersonator scams were still the most reported scam, with reported losses of $2.6 billion. The difference this year? Higher losses to business imposters: 2022 losses were $660 million, compared to $453 million in 2021.

If people paid a scammer, the biggest reported losses were through bank transfers ($1.5 billion reported lost to scams) and cryptocurrency ($1.4 billion reported lost). When the scam started on social media, people reported losing the most money overall to scammers ($1.2 billion). But when the scammer called, the per-person loss was the highest ($1,400 median loss).

The FTC is also offering guidance online and in print to consumers and businesses in additional languages. This includes advice on how to spot, stop, and avoid scams and what to do if you paid a scammer online, as well as offering free print resources in multiple languages.

Whether you get FTC materials online or in print, sharing what you know about scams and reporting what you see, can help stop scams and protect your community.

Call the FTC at (877) 382-4357. Press 3 to speak to an interpreter. To report identity theft, call (877) 438-4338 and choose the option for your preferred language. Lines are open between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern.

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