Fraud Prevention & Recovery

Belén Dumont


LNN spotLIGHT focuses on major issues important to local Hispanic/Latino and underrepresented communities — stay updated on the monthly series by following us on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, and Radio Public.

On this episode of LNN Spotlight, Reporter/Editor Belén Dumont speaks with AARP New Hampshire State Director Christina FitzPatrick about fraud prevention and recovery as scams become increasingly common and sophisticated.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that consumers lost over $10 billion to scams in 2023—reaching an all-time high and increasing by 14% from reported losses in 2022. As residents come forward and report losses, the public learns more about how we can skillfully detect and avoid different types of fraud along with which demographics are being intentionally targeted. 

“While there’s a lot of shame and stigma associated with falling victim to a scam, it’s really important to remember that these folks make it a profession to steal,” explained FitzPatrick. “Forty percent of Americans have been affected by some type of fraud, and even more know somebody who has been affected.”

Studies from AARP and the FTC have shown that scams commonly target communities of color. Research has also found that scammers will intentionally use language barriers and cultural differences to confuse and take advantage of vulnerable populations. 

In a 2021 AARP Survey, two in five Latinos reported being targeted by a scam and one in five said they lost money because of one. 

“We know that fraud associated with bank cards and credit cards is more common among the Latino community,” said FitzPatrick. “[And] if somebody calls you…saying they’re from a government agency…they’re not going to ask for your personal information over the phone. They just don’t do those types of outgoing calls.”

It is important to verify the information you’re being told before taking any irreversible action, said FitzPatrick. Fraudsters will use fear tactics to make people act quickly because when people are pressured their rationality can go out the window. 

“If somebody puts pressure on you, that should send up red flags,” said FitzPatrick. “You always have time to [verify]. Don’t let anybody pressure you into making choices that you can’t fix later on.”

The most common types of fraud currently include imposter scams, identity theft, online shopping and negative review scams, bank and lender scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams, along with false online job offers. 

“It’s important to report this because having data really helps us to know where the problems are and therefore, where we need to focus our resources,” shared FitzPatrick. “So, if we generate information that shows there’s a new type of scam on the market, then organizations like AARP and others can try to get the word out. If [people] understand what to look for, then they can understand how to protect themselves.”


Publisher’s Note: AARP New Hampshire and New Hampshire Latino News are partners in providing greater visibility and voice to local Hispanic-Latino communities.