Fraud affects every community: debt collection
There’s not much doubt that fraud can happen anywhere. To anyone. That’s the whole idea behind the FTC’s Every Community Initiative: fraud affects every community, and the FTC works to stop fraud wherever it happens. When we look at all the reports we get from consumers in communities across the country, these scams start to feel like something we face together, something we can imagine happening to us, or someone we care about. And when we share those stories, it really hits home.
Take the story of Bryan Noyes, an Iraq War veteran living in Portland, Maine, now working as a Service Officer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. When he was just out of the Army, Bryan faced issues that many veterans face: finding a stable job, a stable place to live, finishing his degree. Then, into that mix, came harassing debt collection calls for debts that Bryan couldn’t identify. Even if those debts weren’t real, Bryan had to deal with them.
Luckily, Bryan was able to get help through Pine Tree Legal Assistance, which has a Veteran Services Legal Outreach program to serve Maine’s 127,000 veterans. Rob Liscord, who’s in charge of the program, was able to help Bryan challenge the debt collection notices in court and get them dismissed.
This story had a happy ending; not all of them do. It also has some ideas for what you can do when faced with debt collection calls – whether or not you’re a veteran – including telling the FTC if you spot illegal debt collection. Every report makes a difference in stopping bad debt collection practices.
Watch this space for more videos in this series of Fraud Affects Every Community videos. Chances are, you’ll find a story about someone a lot like you.