Reports to the FTC, analysis of data from FTC enforcement actions, and research have shown that people living in majority Black communities are disproportionately harmed by fraud and other consumer problems. Racial discrimination has led to structural barriers to accessing credit, housing, and income-generating opportunities, especially in Black communities. The FTC has brought enforcement actions and provided consumer education to address various issues that adversely affect communities of color, such as discriminatory auto financing, predatory lending, inaccuracies related to tenant screening and credit reporting, deceptive student debt relief operations, shady debt collection practices, and phony money-making opportunities.
But the FTC knows there is much more to do, and we are committed to strategically using our resources to center racial equity and economic equality in our work. Check out the Serving Communities of Color Report to find out more, but looking forward, the FTC will focus on:
- Working to increase reporting of fraud and other consumer problems to the FTC.
- Bringing enforcement actions that shut down frauds that target or disproportionately affect communities of color and combat discriminatory and other problematic practices.
- Strengthening and broadening relationships with trusted resources in communities of color and looking for new approaches to place consumer protection messages where people already are – physically, in the media, and online.
- Increasing the systematic review and analysis of consumer reports to the FTC and data from enforcement actions to identify trends and disparities that negatively impact communities of color to help us better focus our work.
Advancing racial equity is critical to the FTC’s consumer protection mission. Targeted law enforcement, working with trusted sources, and insightful research are just a few components of how the FTC will better serve communities of color.
Everyone can help by talking about fraud and sharing information in their communities. You can also help by reporting the scams and other consumer problems you see. Tell us your story so the FTC knows how people are being affected and who is scamming people in your community. It’s easy to report: ReportFraud.ftc.gov (English) or ReporteFraude.ftc.gov (Spanish).