State Officials Encourage Connecticut Legal Aid Organizations to Join FTC Community Advocate Center Initiative
New FTC Program Helps Lower-Income Communities Report and Prevent Fraud
June 17, 2021 — The Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General William Tong are encouraging Connecticut community legal aid organizations to join the Federal Trade Commission’s new Community Advocate Center initiative, which aims to prevent fraud targeting lower-income communities.
The Community Advocate Center initiative provides a new way for legal aid organizations that offer free and low-cost legal services to report fraud and other illegal business practices directly to the FTC on behalf of their clients. This will increase outreach to underserved communities, encouraging them to report fraud and advising them on how to recover if they become the victims.
“We are proud to support our partners at the FTC in fighting fraud that targets our most vulnerable communities,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “By partnering with community legal aid organizations, the FTC will greatly expand its reach and impact in Connecticut. This new initiative provides an important service to lower-income communities in the state who are often targeted by fraud and scams but may not have the information or resources to fight back.”
“Scammers often target vulnerable populations where people might not always know where to go for help if they become victims of fraud,” said Attorney General William Tong. “This new initiative will help prevent fraud and bring much needed outreach and resources to lower-income communities in Connecticut and the legal aid organizations that serve them.”
“The FTC is trying to make it easier for advocates to report fraud on behalf of their communities – not only to help protect people, but also to share next steps to take – and maybe even, eventually, get money back for their clients,” said Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We’re thrilled to work with the Department of Consumer Protection to find new ways to hear from lower-income communities across Connecticut.”
By participating with the FTC’s Community Advocate Center, organizations can connect members of their communities to specific, practical steps they can take to try to get their money back. They also will receive anonymized data detailing the types of fraud and other illegal business practices affecting their communities, such as the methods scammers use to defraud consumers, methods they use to demand payment, and the amount of money consumers report losing.
The FTC will host an informational and training webinar for Connecticut organizations at 10 a.m. June 30. To register to attend please email email@example.com with your name and organization name, and meeting details will be provided.
For more information about the Community Advocate Center and to how to participate, visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov/community.