Hispanics targeted by phone scammers during the holiday season

According to a survey conducted by AARP, three out of four Latinos are victims of fraud and many of them do not know how to recognize the warning signs.

Hispanics are a favorite target for telephone scammers in the U.S. during the holiday season. According to a report conducted by the AARP, three out of four Hispanics in the country were victims of scams during the holiday season. Even more concerning is that many of them do not know how to recognize some of the signs that indicate they are being scammed.

This is nothing new, according to Truecaller's Insights 2021 US Spam & Scam Report, which was conducted last year by True Caller and the survey company The Harris Pool. Hispanic Americans fell for more phone scams and lost more money at a higher rate than the rest of the market. The same report revealed that these types of scams increase during the Christmas season, as it is the time when more purchases are made and consumers are most vulnerable. Scammers take advantage of "increased stress during the holidays," per a PR NewsWire report. It notes three main types of scams:

Donations to non-existent charities

This type of fraud feeds on Hispanics' willingness to help others in need. The scammer will call the target and present different cases of people in need, then asks for a large donation to organizations that do not exist. Some ask for a wire transfer with the promise that "the funds reach the needy." To avoid this type of scam, it is best to research the charity or organization to confirm its existence.

Delivery of counterfeit packages

One of the most common methods of fraud these days involves fake mail or packages. It begins with an SMS that sends a link for customers to check "the status of a package delivery." When the user accesses the link, the scammer gains access to the user's personal data in what is known as "smishing."

There is also another version of this scam in which the user is assured that the package cannot be delivered because it did not pass customs control and a fee, usually small, must be paid to cover the cost. It is recommended to buy only from verified sites and always confirm shipping details.

Immigration scams

This is the most dangerous type of scam. It consists of a supposed immigration agent calling Latinos and assuring them that they either violated the law or have incorrect information on file. The agent follows up by asking for money to cover the fees or fines that they face. This also allows the scammer to obtain personal data and information that can be used in the future. To avoid falling for this type of scam, always check with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or call an official government agency. Never return the call because, if it is a scam, you may be charged a very high calling fee.