You probably serve many different communities and field questions on consumer issues, like managing money and credit, dealing with debt, or avoiding scams and identity theft. Scammers target people from different communities in unique ways, so here are some resources by community group, along with some ideas for programming to help you better reach these audiences.
- For librarians: Getting started
- Identity theft victims
- Spanish speakers
- English language learners
- Older patrons
- Military families
- Reentering and incarcerated consumers
- Kids and teens
The FTC’s materials can help your patrons resolve consumer issues. In the resources on this page, you’ll find materials in Spanish, videos, presentation slides with talking points, some worksheets and lesson plans. We hope these will help you:
- Answer patrons’ questions.
- Develop programming. For instance, create a short presentation with the slides, talking points, and videos. Use them as-is, or mix and match to suit your needs. Consumer protection tips are always relevant and can be a valuable addition to your existing programs. Consider incorporating information on managing credit and debt, or avoiding scams, into other celebrations and promotions. Just a few possibilities you might try:
January: Data Privacy Day; Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week
February: African American History Month
March: National Consumer Protection Week; National Password Day
April: Financial Literacy Month; Money Smart Week; National Library Week
May: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; Older Americans Month
June: LGBTQ+ Pride Month
July: Military Consumer Month
September: National Preparedness Month
September to October: Hispanic Heritage Month
October: Cybersecurity Awareness Month; National Bullying Prevention Month
November: Veterans Day
December: Identity Theft Awareness Month
- Order free bookmarks and publications to distribute during programming or for patrons to pick up at your displays.
- Use any of our consumer tips or infographics in your library’s newsletter, website, or social media pages. Put it under your byline. It’s all in the public domain, so use it freely.
- Sign up for Consumer Alerts to keep up to date.
- Report any scams you encounter. Your reports help us stay one step ahead of scammers.
Browse the audiences listed on this page to find materials that are most relevant to them.
- Give a presentation using the slides and talking points on managing money, credit, and debt. These topics are relevant year-round, but consider doing a program during April for Financial Literacy Month or in conjunction with your plans for Money Smart Week (first week in April).
- Use the articles (and read-along audio), worksheets, lesson plans, and videos to develop a hands-on life skills program (creating a budget, opening a bank account, etc.) that can be as short or as detailed as you need.
- Add these topics to your Adulting 101 class: Making a Budget; Opening a Bank Account; Your Paycheck; Using Debit Cards; Renting an Apartment or House; Saving Money When You Shop; and Buying and Using Phone Cards. Include a section on avoiding scams and identity theft.
- Host a day to get your patrons street smart about scams. Hand out 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud and show the videos about imposter scams.
- Post the stopping unwanted calls infographics and any of our videos on your library’s site or social media page.
- For National Preparedness month (September), have a fireside chat on Weather Emergencies and how to avoid scams during and after a disaster.
- In late fall, put on a holiday planning and shopping program: use tips from our blog about holiday shopping and the infographic about shopping online Consider adding other topics including using layaway plans, how buying plans work, and paying scammers with gift cards.
- Host a job hunting expo during National Library Week, the second full week of April.
- Give job hunters the job scams fact sheet, show the video, and give out the bookmark. Share the background checks article, publication, and video. If you’re answering patron questions, you might want a deeper dive on job scams and understanding your credit history.
- Keeping your computer and other devices secure is a sound practice year-round, but consider hosting a program during October for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Share these online safety articles and videos.
- Share resources on cyberbullying for parents and kids at the start of the school year. You may also want to create a program around cyberbullying for Pride month (June) focusing on how it affects LGBTQ+ children.
- Host an Identity Protection Day. For your program, show a video and give a presentation using the slides and talking points. Order free identity theft resources and give them to your patrons. Help identity theft victims report the crime and get their personalized recovery plan.
- For Identity Theft Awareness Month in December, play these identity theft videos on a continuous loop in your main gathering area:
What To Do After a Data Breach
Did you get a notice that says your personal information was exposed in a data breach? Visit IdentityTheft.gov/databreach to learn what you can do to protect your identity.
- Stock up on publications in Spanish. These videos and articles are available in Spanish at Consumidor.ftc.gov (Consumer.ftc.gov), Consumidor.gov (Consumer.gov), Robodeidentidad.gov (IdentityTheft.gov), and Pasalo (Pass It On).
- Use the Consumidor.gov articles, lesson plans, worksheets, and slides to develop a course to build greater money management skills.
- Hold a workshop on identity theft. Use the identity theft slides in Spanish to discuss how to recover from this crime. Hand out copies of these publications in Spanish: Identity Theft: What To Know, What To Do; Child Identity Theft: What To Know, What To Do; Data Breaches: What To Know, What To Do; and the identity theft bookmark.
- Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. Hand out the fotonovelas, a series of graphic novels in Spanish, which show stories about different scams in the Latino community, including:
- Use the Consumer.gov short videos, worksheets, and slides to teach money management basics, practical life skills, and scam avoidance to your patrons who have challenges reading English. Do you collaborate with ESL teachers? Add the Consumer.gov lesson plans to your programming. Order the Educator Sample Pack to help your planning. Order What to Do fact sheets on each of the topics to give to your patrons.
- Do you have patrons who are new to this country? Organize a practical life skills program using the Consumer.gov materials (for instance, renting an apartment, opening a bank account, and other resources.) We also have a one-pager on how to send money overseas available in English, Spanish Chinese, Korean , Vietnamese, and Tagalog.
- Print copies of Spotting, Avoiding & Reporting Scams: A Fraud Handbook for Recent Refugees and Immigrants, along with posters about job scams and government imposters. Available in Amharic, Arabic, Dari, French, English, Somali, and Spanish.
- Order free copies of 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud to get practical tips to steer clear of the tricks crooks use.
- For patrons who are navigating the immigration process, use these resources to help them avoid scammers and find the right kind of help.These materials are available at www.ftc.gov/immigration in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Creole, English, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese.
- Use these videos in a program: scams against immigrants and immigration.
- Choose a Pass it On activity sheet as an icebreaker, give a presentation using the slides with talking points, and hand out the one-page articles and bookmarks. Pass it On is the FTC's consumer education program that empowers older adults to spread the word about how to avoid scams like charity fraud, tech support scams, IRS imposters, romance scams, identity theft, and more.
- Use the short tips at MilitaryConsumer.gov to help servicemembers, veterans, and their families organize their finances, plan their spending, and avoid scams. Order free publications to hand out.
- July is Military Consumer Month. Partner with a service branch community/family support center, a military personal financial manager, or local USDA extension agents to develop programming using resources from MilitaryConsumer.gov.
- November 11 is Veterans Day. Have a Pass it On program for older veterans. Pass it On is the FTC's consumer education program that empowers older adults to spread the word about how to avoid scams. Partner with a local VFW or American Legion post to get the word out.
- Find a chapter of Student Veterans of America at a local college and put on a program for younger veterans about your education after high school, avoiding job hunting scams, and being your own boss.
- Follow us on Facebook @MilitaryConsumer and Twitter @MilConsumer. Share the tips with your social media networks.
- Share FTC.gov/reentry – a short, curated list of links to topics of interest to consumers who are incarcerated or reentering the community. Also, look around Consumer.gov for many other popular topics to use in workshops, community fairs, and other gatherings.
- Host a life skills program focusing on making a budget, opening a bank account, your credit history, fixing your credit, using prepaid cards, and payday loans. Other helpful topics: buying a used car, renting an apartment, and saving money when you shop. Several of these topics also have videos, worksheets, and/or slides and talking points.
- Give job hunters the job scams fact sheet and bookmark; show the video. Share the background checks article, publication, and video. If you’re answering patron questions, you might want a deeper dive on job scams.
- Reentering consumers may not be aware of the latest tips to protect their devices. Hand out information about computer security.
- Help kids be smarter consumers with You Are Here. Have them click around this virtual mall, play games, and design ads. Or create a makerspace: have them make their own ads – anything from hand-drawn print ads to audio or video ads recorded on a phone or tablet – to learn about advertising techniques, target marketing, suspicious claims, and more. Get free lessons to teach key consumer concepts.
- Plan a digital literacy program for kids or teens based on Living Life Online.
- Help kids navigate the online world using NetCetera, to help parents talk with kids about being safe online, and Heads Up for the kids. Order free copies of NetCetera and Heads Up to hand out.