Hispanic Heritage Month: The FTC celebrates by offering consumer protection tips & resources

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a government agency fully committed to helping Americans make informed financial decisions. A major part of the agency’s purpose and mission is to ensure that consumers are not ripped-off and also take strong legal action against people who violate the rights of consumers.

As part of its service, and to help promote National Hispanic Heritage Month, the FTC publishes many informative materials that you can order free of charge. These free booklets and pamphlets can be shared with your family, friends, neighbors, and other community members.

Convenient Educational Materials

The FTC publishes an entertaining and educational fotonovela. Impostores del Gobierno, which shows the ways to avoid being tricked by people pretending to represent the government. These individuals try to steal your money by being deceitful or through intimidation. The FTC’s fotonovela is a story about a young woman named Sonia who receives a phone call from a man who says he works for the government. He demands that she must immediately send money to avoid getting into serious trouble. In the end, she realizes he is an imposter. The story is fun to read, but it also suggests some great tips on how to identify scam artists so that you do not become victim of fraud.

There is another document provided by the FTC that is small enough to carry in your wallet and is available to order for free online, in bulk or in smaller orders. The flyer, which is also available in Spanish, explains some of the scams that specifically target immigrants. It also gives advice on how to report any suspicious activity as well as what to look for to avoid being scammed.

Additional Print Materials

The FTC provides a lot of other printed materials that teach various topics like:

  • identity theft and how to avoid it
  • credit cards and how to use them wisely
  • student loans and how to find the most affordable rates payday loans and cash advances, which are frequently used to scam unsuspecting people by charging extremely high interest rates.
  • Advance-Fee Loan offers and how to identify  a rip-off.

There are, of course, resources about how to use and manage legitimate loans, and how to use credit cards and debit cards so that they provide convenience  instead of a financial burden.

To simplify the budget creation process you can use free online tools such as the household expense worksheet. Major categories of expenses are outlined so that you can simply fill in the blanks on the sheet with the amounts you spend. You can customize the categories and expenses as much as you need so you can create an expense budget that fits within your monthly income.

Free Credit Card & Loan Repayment Calculators

Another great source of free financial information and helpful tools is right here on our blog. CompareCards can show you how to manage your money, avoid scams and make better financial decisions. The Education Center is filled with lessons for children about how to make smart financial choices, how to invest and save, and how to establish and build good credit to avoid debt.

We also have a fun tool called the Fee Experiment where you pick the features you want in a credit card and it analyzes your selections to compare credit cards to find the one that will  work great for you. The Infographics section of the website is also easy and educational. It takes financial terms and concepts and makes them simple to grasp with visual illustrations.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of materials available to you all over the web that can show you how to avoid being scammed. Take advantage of these free tools and the information provided to anyone who wants it.

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