The latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers
You know those commercials you see on national TV selling everything from clothing to electronics, even weight-loss products? It’s tempting to call the number on the screen, many of us do. When you place an order, you trust that the company you call will send quality products. But the latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers shows that isn’t always what happens.
A recent lawsuit filed by the FTC claims that Hispanic Global Way marketed a variety of products through Spanish-language TV commercials, including a weight loss belt that failed to deliver any promised benefit, English-language courses, clothing, and cellphones. According to the FTC, the company shipped incomplete orders, defective products, and products that were different than advertised. When consumers called to complain, many were told they couldn’t return merchandise and denied refunds. Others were ignored and put on endless hold, hung up on, or had customer service reps insult them for calling. Hispanic Global Way reps even tried to get people to pay for the defective or erroneous products the company had sent.
Stay away from this type of scam:
- Research any company before ordering its products. Even if a company advertises on national TV, it pays to check it out. Enter the company’s name in an online search engine with terms like “scam,” “complaint,” or “review.”
- Know a company’s refund or exchange policy upfront. Before you order any product over the phone, ask the company for their policies and terms in writing, including any additional charges or fees you might incur. If the terms aren’t clearly spelled out, it could be sign of a scam.
If you ordered a product:
- Report companies that ask you to pay for their mistake. If a company sends you a defective, incomplete product – or one that you didn’t order – and then asks you to pay for their oversight when you ask for a refund or exchange, it’s a red flag. You don’t have to pay to get their mistake right. Report them to the FTC.
- Don’t put up with intimidation, threats of deportation or lawsuits, or other forms of harassment. Legitimate companies don’t threaten or insult consumers, and will not harass you for money.
If you feel you are being threatened, or you suspect a scam, don’t wait to complain. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to have consumer rights in the U.S. File a complaint with the FTC or your state attorney general’s office.