When clients bring in mail from Publishers Clearinghouse so you can help them claim their $2,000,000, the answer is obvious. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Other scams – like jobs you have to pay for or calls from the IRS – can be harder to address until it’s too late.
Now, with help from IRC Silver Spring, the Federal Trade Commission has developed resources to help newly arrived refugees spot, avoid and report scams. Handbooks and posters are available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Dari, French, Somali and Spanish. Click here to download all of these free resources.
Here’s what happened according to Kate Christman, Cultural Orientation Coordinator with IRC Silver Spring.
The FTC was working on a project to help communities that are especially vulnerable and may not be knowledgeable about their rights or tips for avoiding scams. They reached out to the IRC for assistance. Our goal was to distill and simplify their wealth of information and materials into something more accessible for refugees and immigrants. They toured our office and attended a cultural orientation to get a better background on refugee populations. We had lengthy discussions help them get a sense of what refugees struggled with in the US. They talked with caseworkers about what scams they thought refugees were most susceptible. Then they drafted the pamphlet and we worked through a few details before they had it translated.
IRC Silver Spring includes the information in their cultural orientation, has translated versions of the posters around their offices and makes the handbooks available for clients, too.