FTC Releases its First Spanish-Language ‘Fotonovela’

The Federal Trade Commission is launching its first “fotonovela” as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about scams targeting the Latino community.

Impostores del Gobierno follows the story of a young woman who responds to a call from a man who claims to be from the government — and who convinces her to send him money. The plot is based on real complaints to the FTC from Spanish speakers throughout the nation, and offers practical tips on how to tell when a phone call, text or email is from a government imposter. The tips include:

  • If you answer a call from someone who says they work for the government and you won money in a “grant”, lottery or contest, it’s a scam. The government doesn’t call you or send you an email or text to give you money.
  • If anyone tells you to wire money or use a pre-paid card to collect your “prize,” it’s a scam. If you have to pay, it’s not a prize – it’s a purchase.

The FTC received more than two million complaints from consumers in 2013. The top complaint category was identity theft; imposter scams in general ranked fourth.

Copies of Impostores del Gobierno are available free from ftc.gov/bulkorder, and it’s available as a pdf at ftc.gov/fotonovela.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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