Monday, September 12, 2005

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Attorney General Abbott To Host National Conference On Protecting Hispanic Consumers From Fraud

AUSTIN – Attorney General Greg Abbott will host a two-day conference in Austin on Sept. 14-15 to bring together Hispanic advocacy groups, other state attorneys general and experts in consumer law from across the country to develop a united effort in the fight against the growing tide of scams that target Hispanics.

“In Texas we have shut down many operations that have devastated thousands of Hispanic families,” said Attorney General Abbott. “Now is the time for us to join forces with advocates and law enforcement from throughout the country so that each state will be better able to protect its Hispanic residents from increasingly brazen and far-reaching schemes.”

The conference, “Fraude: Protecting Hispanic Consumers,” will feature consumer protection experts from Texas, Illinois, New York and California, as well as several federal agencies. Carlos Arce, Mexico’s Federal Attorney General for Consumer Protection, will join Attorney General Abbott on Sept. 14 as keynote speaker. Also among the guests will be speakers from the National Council of La Raza, the Pew Hispanic Center and the National Consumer Law Center to offer insights into why Hispanics are frequently the target of fraud and how states can work together to fight them.

Since assuming office, Attorney General Abbott has become a nationally recognized leader in the protection of Hispanic consumers by halting dozens of operations that defraud consumers based on their last name, the language they speak or their immigration status. He has taken action against more than two dozen fraudulent immigration services consultants; housing and real estate scams against Hispanic families; the sale of thousands of legally worthless ‘international licenses’ marketed to immigrant drivers; and bogus credit card offers in which thousands of Hispanics nationally were defrauded. His efforts have been praised by numerous Hispanic advocacy groups, including the National Caucus of Hispanic State Legislators.

The conference is open to the public. Individuals interested in attending can contact Stacy Janecka, Conference Manager, at (512) 475-4600 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov and click the “Conferences” link to obtain a registration form and agenda.