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The latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers

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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.


I will like to know . What about a company that is using international people to make their calls, and they also supply to them your password. I just cancelled an account with A CO. that is doing this. Please give me a feed back.

I'm not sure what you call this, but Mobile Gas Company claim to have hired a person that did't know how to read the gas meteor. So I was bill around $385.00 for a one month bill. I have had to pay for their mistake. The time in question, I was using electric heaters and on the coldest days I was away in Atl.

I hope you are also sending this out in Spanish since the consumer is watching the Spanish TV programs and may not be able to speak English.
I wonder how I would fare living in a foreign country and not speaking the language.

This blog post is also available in Spanish. To receive FTC blogs, alerts, and news releases go to to subscribe.

How would you like your ma Caught in your scam ????????

apparently there is a pack of hpounds traying to take advantage of individuals with Spanish names. I have been cursed with a 100% Spanish one; if we add my age to it it makes me an ideal candidate for all kinds of "OFFERS". Lately I have been receiving offers for ALUMINUM and other sidingS of my house, (among tenths of others) I LIVE IN AN APARTMENT, ON THE FIFTH FLOOR OF A BUILDING.
I include my telephone number on the "No Call" list.
Tomorrow I shall subscribe again.I thank you for your efforts to curtail the curreny abuse. I wish I could help further.
Thank you

Even us Americans get those offers and it has nothing to do with your name .... Geeeesh

Having a Spanish last name is not a curse. Everyone no matter their background is a target for scams. Your last name has nothing to do with it.

Thank you for our good work!!!

i am so glad i subscribed to your e-mail letters! your info makes me feel so much better knowing someone is out there protecting those who fall for these awful scams.

There are some Home by Home People from SPARKLE ENERGY telling us that we can save plenty of money if we sign into this application on our own gas bill they say to call that instance and confirm the enrollment but not to say that we have the savings from our current gas co. nor ask any questions otherwise they will hang up the phone.

I know this website tells you to search a company, with keywords like, "fake" and "scam". I know for a fact that doesn't always work. A lot of companies will create other webpages that look like an article or blog of some one raving about how they are not a scam. Always be careful of the URL's you are visiting, and visit many pages. Most of those companies, while creating multiple webpages raving about their product, often create the same page just under a different URL, with the same anonymous testimonial, word for word. So if you start to see the same "person" commenting, it is not a person, but the company promoting their product. Rely on independent review sites (such as Yelp, Amazon Product Reviews), Blog sites like this, that allow people to post various opinions. If the "review" is too good to be true, it's probably written by the company. And no one creates a web page to talk about a product. Face Book, YouTube, Google +, and Twitter, all great social media sites, usually have a ranking system for companies and products (such as the Face Book "like" button). Those are great places to go for testimonials. With so many options to just click a "like" key, do you think some one is going to take the time to write and publish a web page for a product or company... if they don't work for the company?

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