A sure sign that Hispanic direct marketing is effective... the scam artists have arrived.

FTC Defends Hispanic Consumers Against Direct Marketing Scams

Jul 26, 2005

Response This Week

WASHINGTON- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken a stand against fraudulent marketers that target Hispanic consumers. It announced actions against five deceptive marketing schemes Tuesday at the Hispanic Law Enforcement and Outreach Forum in Phoenix.

    The forum was hosted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in an effort to unite Hispanic community leaders and law enforcement authorities against fraud. It was one of several workshops that established an open line of communication between Hispanic consumers and local government to identify and report deceptive marketing practices.

    “We are sending a message to scammers: Our strong commitment to enforcement in this area will not change,” Tom Syta, assistant director for the FTC’s Western region, said in a statement. “As the cases announced today show, we will stay involved in the Hispanic community and fight fraud when and where it happens.”

    The law enforcement actions announced at the forum included a complaint with a proposed settlement, three settlements from previous actions and a default judgment. In the default judgment, defendants USS Elder Enterprises Inc., America Vespucia Corp., Ricardo Elder Partners Inc. and Ricardo E. Gonzalez were ordered to pay $885,196 in consumer redress for allegedly targeting non-English speaking Hispanic consumers in a work-at-home scam.

    Another work-at-home business that charged $100 for a greeting-card assembly job was also targeted by the FTC. AG Intercraft and Amanda Guerra were ordered to pay $100,000 in consumer redress.

    The FTC claimed that herbal supplement marketers Latinos Group Promotions and its president Jose Carpinteyro made false claims about Arcomig and Essiac Formula. They allegedly claimed that the products were approved by the government and could cure cancerous diseases. They are barred from making any more false claims and their order contains a suspended judgment of $990, 017.

    CHK Trading Co. Inc. was targeted as part of the FTC’s “Operation Big Fat Lie,” an attack on bogus weight-loss supplements. They were required to pay $75,978 in consumer redress to settle the charges. The advertisements for Hanmeilin Cellulite Cream ran on English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese stations.

    Call Center Express Corp. and defendants Rafael Abreu, Liens Abreu and Abreu Advertising Inc. settled FTC charges that they deceptively marketed advance-fee credit cards to Hispanic consumers. They agreed to pay $20,000 in consumer redress.