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Is Your Community At Risk for Identity Theft?

Veterans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, African-Americans and low-income residents are among some of the most popular targets for identity theft.

As a result, the Federal Trade Commission is hosting a workshop, "Fraud Affects Every Community," to examine how and why these groups are so often victimized.

The workshop is Oct. 29 at 8 a.m. EST, and is free to attend. It also will be streamed live online at no cost to viewers.

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The session was prompted by multiple reports — from the FTC, consumer advocates and survey research, among others — showing that these communities are disproportionately victimized. Telemarketing fraud, fake debt-relief services, false chances to make money unauthorized billing schemes are overall more likely to hit these groups of people, according to the FTC.

Meanwhile, other scams target certain populations. For example, scammers often take advantage of service members shopping for cars, or residents seeking help with immigration, FTC officials said.

The workshop is expected to address for each community:

  • top consumer protection concerns.
  • the most prevalent types of fraud.
  • internet experiences.
  • efforts from consumer groups, industry or academics that could help prevent fraud.

In addition, FTC officials said they hope those who attend or watch online will share their experiences, too. Specifically, officials said they want to know about what scams different communities see; what kind of ads those communities see when they surf the web; community-based ideas for stopping fraud; and the best ways to address the damage that fraud causes.

Those who watch the live webcast can send their questions to speakers through e-mail or social media during the event, FTC officials said.

Potential solutions could involve outreach, education, community cooperation, law enforcement and industry fraud-prevention initiatives. Consumer advocates, state and federal regulators, fraud prevention experts, academics and researchers all are expected to attend, according to the FTC.

The event will be at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St. SW, Washington, D.C.

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