NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Make the Road New York (MRNY) today launched a campaign to educate Latino immigrants about Herbalife's predatory practices after hearing hundreds of stories of community members who invested their hard earned savings with only losses in return.
To launch this campaign, MRNY released a documentary-style video highlighting the impact of Herbalife on local Latino victims. The video can be viewed here. MRNY also announced a new victim hotline where former Herbalife distributors can call to share their stories and learn how to avoid being deceived by pyramid schemes. The hotline is 1-855-5ALERTA.
The multi-level marketing company has been accused of operating an illegal pyramid scheme that uses deceptive practices to target minority groups, particularly Latino immigrants who are lured into investing hundreds, and often thousands of dollars, with promises of easy money and jobs that don't require English or work authorization in the US.
Herbalife advertises itself as a business opportunity and promises wealth and success, however, our research shows that the vast majority of its members generate virtually no income and lose money after dedicating massive amounts of time and energy.
"Make the Road New York is committed to building the power of Latinos and working class New Yorkers. We will not stand by while members of our own community are taken advantage of and stripped of their savings by the predatory recruiting of get-rich-quick schemes," said Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director. "We have worked for more than a decade to make sure that low-wage workers get paid for the work they do, and we are now working to expose predatory schemes that target our communities and take money out of the pockets of the most vulnerable New Yorkers."
"I initially was attracted to Herbalife because I wanted to lose weight. But when I tried to buy the weight-loss shakes, I was told that I could get the product at a discount and make a lot of money if I became a distributor, and encouraged other friends to also become distributors themselves," said Lorena Ospina, a Queens resident and victim of Herbalife's predatory marketing. "But instead of making money, I lost close to three thousand dollars I had borrowed to invest in my new business, and have not been able to recover from that debt."
As part of this campaign, MRNY will meet with local elected officials and community groups to discuss how to protect immigrant New Yorkers against predatory pyramid schemes. Over the next months, MRNY will reach thousands of immigrant New Yorkers with community education sessions across New York City and Long Island, and we will explore ways to bring the cases of Herbalife's victims to the attention of local and federal regulatory entities.
Video with caption: "La decepcion de Herbalife." Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94iUj0KXX2w&feature=youtu.be
SOURCE Make the Road New York