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Scammy, scammier, scammiest

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Many issues were highlighted at last week’s Common Ground Conference on Native American Issues, held in Albuquerque. And some of the scams are things we see in other communities, all over the country. However.

The scammy practices in Indian Country are among the most egregious we’ve seen in our collective decades of lawyering. Being a consumer in Indian Country is evidently harder (and riskier) than being a consumer elsewhere.   

Imagine, for example, being effectively held hostage in a car dealership, hours from your home. The dealer brought you there, won’t let you leave until you sign a contract, and you have no other way to get home. So you sign, make your escape – and wind up with triple-digit APR on your loan. For a car that might not even run. 

Imagine talking with a sales person, making a deal orally, and shaking on it. Which is how deals are made in your culture. And then signing a contract that says something entirely different – and having no recourse.

“The New Mexico Attorney General’s office is working to stop these and other deceptive practices and has brought actions against car dealers and high cost lenders, as well as issuing new regulations for debt collectors,” said Karen J. Meyers, Director of the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General.  “The AG’s office also offers a dispute resolution service that often allows consumers to resolve complaints against businesses without the expense of litigation.” 

The good news? New Mexico has strong consumer protection laws, and the Attorney General’s office enforces them vigorously. The better news: There is an active legal services presence in Native American communities, and some wonderful community groups. The best news: This Common Ground conference was the beginning of a long and productive conversation among tribal groups, legal services, other community groups, and the FTC. We look forward to finding ways to work together.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


This certainly is no surprise. The Native American has been getting screwed since the European settlers first set foot on their soil. It is an absolute disgrace how they have been treated and continued to be treated. Meanwhile, foreigners continue to come into this country and receive all kinds of benefits and money and they continue to get nothing. Shame on us.

How bout read the fine print/ people need to take responsibility for their own actions. As to getting screwed since the european settlers, they lost the war move on, while its important to remember the past so we dont repeat it, we should be looking to the future on ways of prosecuting these criminals that are scamming. People need to be held accountable for their own actions, not be given everything on a silver platter. Contact your officials that where elected to change laws that give out benefits to illegals /foreigners. America land of the brave and free once we where all foreigners here.

que veut dire ce laius?

I should stop expecting to have heard it all... "Just when I thought I'd heard it all..." Thank you for sharing this information, and all the best to those involved in rooting out the bad actors and their shameful practices. -Todd

Wow! I don't live in New Mexico, but this happen to me in Newport News VA at Nissan Car dealership, I cosign for my daughter getting a car, months later Langley credit union call me saying I was two months behind in car payments. I call them and explain I was only a cosigner, she said no! we have you as the car buyer, told me I been trick by the car salesman. Told her I get dishabilles and wasn't able to buy a car. Told her my daughter suppose to be the buyer because she had the job. The car salesman said I worked at Wal-Mart. Told her I haven't work in 6 years, she was shock, Say I wasn't the first to have that happen too.

How can I help edu. consumers?

All of the information on is free and in the public domain. That means you can share it, copy it, and link to it for free. If you're interested in sharing consumer education resources within your community, you also can order free materials at

We received a fake IRS call this morning, they had our name and address and threaten us. We proceeded to call the local police department (911), we now have an incident number and were instructed to contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. Please everyone, submit a Fraud Claim with Treasury Inspector General. If enough of us file claims perhaps that will motivate the government to find and prosecute these people.

We received a similar call on Wed night, I have filed a complaint with the TIGTA, and the FTC both can be done on line. They threatened to be at our house on Monday to arrest us.

You couldn't be any closer to the truth about the Native Americans. For one the Native American get billions of taxpayer money every year from the government those shows with all the torn run down houses where once brand new houses again paid for by tax payer money and are not repaired or taken care of by the people that live in them. The other issue here is the same as anywhere else, do not get involved with scammers. The only reason why the scams work is because people fall for it, when contacted by someone asking for money you should always look them up before giving them any information. You have to be informed about it and if your not that's your problem we should not be wasting tax payer money to stop scammers when all it will take is for people to stop giving the S.S. Number out to every one that asks for it over the phone.

Im victim of a online personal. I needed really bad so I did what they ask me to do. Now they took my social security check which is what I live on my only income. Can't pay anything not even by rent about to get kicked out. I'm so desperate dont know what to do can someone help me the cops will not do anything about it

The federal government has a website to help older people find help. You can go to or call 1-800-677-1116 for information about help with food, medicine and housing.

The National Council on Aging runs the benefits checkup website, where you can get information about paying for food and medicine.


I received a flyer in the mail that I was preaproved for a loan. We were in a financial bind and needed money so I thought I would give it a try. I went through the online process and then was told to call a number. I spoke to the representative who guided me through the rest of the process. He told me my loan term and had me sign the documents online. He told me that I would be paying $170 For 12 months with my payoff being around $1300. What I signed and what he said were completely different. I ended up signing a document that states that I’m paying $170 every 2 weeks for 12 months. My pay off will then be about $4,000 on a $750 loan! I don’t know what to do! I never would have agreed to a loan with those terms. I know that I should have read what I signed but he lied!

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