FTC says communities of color are disproportionately affected by fraud
On October 15, the FTC published a staff report, Serving communities of color, which discusses the Commission’s enforcement and outreach efforts related to the impact of fraud on predominantly Black and Latino communities. The report details various studies and research. For example, an FTC study looked at disparities in payment methods received from consumers who live in communities of color compared to consumers who live in predominantly white communities. According to the study, consumers in communities of color more often reported a greater share of money loss when they used payment methods with few legal protections, e.g. cash, cryptocurrency, money orders and debit cards. In contrast, consumers living in predominantly white areas filed the largest share of credit card reports, which offer more robust fraud protection. Another study found that “different demographics reported different types of problems at different rates”, with consumers living in predominantly black communities filing a higher number of reports than consumers living in predominantly white communities linked to women. credit bureaus, to banks and lenders, to used car problems. , and debt collection. Consumers living in predominantly Latin American communities also filed a greater share of reports on credit bureaus, banks and lenders, debt collection, auto issues and business opportunities, according to the FTC’s findings. . The report discusses, among other things, more than 25 enforcement actions where the FTC has identified that the illegal conduct disproportionately targets or affects communities of color. Examples include car buying cases, for-profit colleges, student loan debt relief programs, prepaid card scams, bogus Covid-19 products and services, business “opportunities” and pyramid schemes, payday loans, and accurate credit and consumer reporting. The report also shares information about the FTC’s outreach programs to consumers in these communities.