March 3, 2021
by Daniel Kaufman Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection
When ReportFraud.ftc.gov launched in late 2020, it made telling the FTC about scams much easier. But here’s the thing: we know we’re still not hearing from lots of communities around the country. Not hearing those stories means we might not learn about the problems they experience, or bring cases to stop the bad practices and get money back. Which is, of course, always the goal. But a new Community Advocate Center is aiming to address that. It gives community legal aid organizations a way to report fraud and bad business practices to the FTC — on behalf of their clients. These organizations that give people access to free and low-cost legal services often serve exactly the communities that the FTC wants to hear more from, including communities of color, speakers of other languages, and lower-income communities.
When advocates tell us people’s stories (or when people tell us directly), the FTC can give advice on next steps, including how to try to recover their money. For example, each year, people use their credit cards to pay scammers millions upon millions of dollars. That’s money people should usually be able to get back, and ReportFraud.ftc.gov tells people how.
If you know someone who works in a legal aid organization, please share this post with them. Send them to ReportFraud.ftc.gov/community to learn more. And tell them that the FTC would be happy to have them join Legal Services Corporation, Inc., the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the National Consumer Law Center, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates in supporting this initiative. Meanwhile, spread the word. If you’ve spotted a scam, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Scam Tags: Avoiding Scams