In G-d We Trust

and slick cars, blow hair, a smooth line, friends, and the hook up.

We shouldn’t.

African Americans and Latinos are much more vulnerable to fraud than other ethnic groups.   A 2004 Federal Trade Commission Report on consumer fraud ( noted that:

Both Hispanics and African Americans were more than twice as likely to be victims of consumer fraud as non-Hispanic whites.  Some 14.3 percent of Hispanics and 17.1 percent of African Americans interviewed had been victims of one or more of the frauds in the survey during the prior year.  On the other hand, only 7.3 percent of participants who were assigned to the “Other” racial category – which includes those who identified themselves as Asian, as Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or as belonging to more than one racial group – were victims.

How’s that working out for us?

It’s related to debt levels, age, education and future income expectations.

The survey also indicated that consumers who anticipate a large change in their incomes in the next three years were more than twice as likely to be victims of fraud as those who expect their incomes to remain stable.

Prosperity gospel, anyone?  Miraculous debt cancellation?  Breakthrough?  Overflow?  Hitting the numbers?  The big score?

Here’s what people did about it.

Sad to see the numbers of people who did nothing.  Unfortunate that few complained to an official source.  Because that means that when the next person comes along, does their due diligence and checks with the Better Business Bureau, a consumer agency or the state Attorney General’s office, they find … nothing.

The Bible indicates that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.  In other words, even if you are minding your own self business, the unscrupulous might still be coming for you.  Do whatever you have to do to get and keep yourself out of harm’s way.  For some it means no more talking to telemarketers.  For others, it means getting wise counsel, even those pesky, bourgie, know it all relatives.  Stop reading unsolicited offers and junk mail.  Get some friends to occupy your time and get in your business so you won’t have so much free time.

I’ll close with a quote from an eye opening article from investigative reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone about the role of fraud in the mortgage crisis.

What’s sad is that most Americans who have an opinion about the foreclosure crisis don’t give a shit about all the fraud involved. They don’t care that these mortgages wouldn’t have been available in the first place if the banks hadn’t found a way to sell oregano as weed to pension funds and insurance companies. They don’t care that the Countrywides of the world pushed borrowers who qualified for safer fixed-­income loans into far more dangerous adjustable-rate loans, because their brokers got bigger commissions for doing so. They don’t care that in the rush to produce loans, people were sold houses that turned out to have flood damage or worse, and they certainly don’t care that people were sold houses with inflated appraisals, which left them almost immediately underwater once housing prices started falling.


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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