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Hispanic immigrants targeted in shipping scam

November 16, 2010 1:56:10 PM PST
Lawmakers warn that Hispanic immigrants are being targeted in a Latin American shipping scam in New York City.

Every year Tony Bourdier sends his family in the Dominican Republic some food and clothing.

Last year for Christmas, the Corona, Queens man sent $600 worth of goods and spent about $200 in shipping fees.

His family never got those much needed supplies.

"It's like a month passed by, two months passed by, every time I went over there I said, 'where are the packages?' They're like oh it's going to be there in a week. Months kept passing by and there was no boxes at all," Bourdier said.

Lawmakers are warning New Yorkers about a shipping scam that targets Hispanic immigrants who send Christmas presents to their families in Latin America.

State Senator Jose Peralta is pushing for new legislation that would require shipping companies to register with the state so that customers can check which businesses are legitimate.

"One, if you're going to open up a business in New York State you need to register with New York State. We need to know who you are. Two, if you're going to open up a business and you're going send items over seas then you should have some kind of bond. Kind of like the money transmitter when they send money overseas they have to have a $500,000 bond. It's an insurance policy," State Sen. Peralta said.

State Sen. Peralta says you need to do you home work: Find a licensed shipper, and get detailed receipt that includes a tracking number and delivery date.

Tony says he learned his lesson, but it cost him dearly.

"It's a poor country. They're waiting for food and stuff like that it's not easy for them over there. They don't even work. They rely on us," Bourdier said.

So this year he plans to keep his gifts close on the plane with him when he flies home for Christmas.

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