Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
This week, we hosted our first ever Senior Scam Stopper Workshop and Awards. It was inspiring to see so many Floridians dedicated to our mission to protect Floridians.
Teaching seniors how to spot scams and report fraud is an extremely effective tool to prevent exploitation. A vital partner in this mission is our Seniors vs. Crime project, and the lifeblood of this program is our Senior Sleuths.
Senior Sleuths are program volunteers who help victims file consumer complaints and follow up on those reports. They stand in the gap, between the victim and anyone trying to take advantage of them, in an effort to recover lost funds, receive a refund or ensure a just outcome.
In 2018 alone, our Seniors vs. Crime Senior Sleuths worked more than 2,000 cases of reported fraud. Their efforts resulted in more than $1.1 million in recoveries. Factor in the additional value of the realized gains they helped secure—such as a contractor returning to finish promised work or credits applied to a future purchase—the figure climbs to more than two million dollars.
During the event, I recognized outstanding volunteers from regions across the state. These Super Senior Sleuths received awards for their commitment to stopping fraud. From these five Super Senior Sleuths, we selected our Advocate of the Year.
Our winner this year is Bryan Lifsey who volunteers out of The Villages office. He began volunteering with Seniors vs. Crime in 2006, and now manages a regional office. For more about Lifsey, click here.
Our additional Super Senior Sleuth winners are:
I am extremely honored to recognize these great volunteers who are so vital to our efforts. If anyone you know would like to volunteer with Seniors vs. Crime, click here.
- Alan Campbell, who volunteers at the Seniors vs. Crime North Miami Beach office;
- Chuck Sheehan, who volunteers at the Seniors vs. Crime Fernandina Beach office;
- Jay Todras, who volunteers at the Seniors vs. Crime west Polk County office; and
- Kim Mitchell, who volunteers at the Seniors vs. Crime Tallahassee office.
CONSUMER ALERT: One-Ring Phone Scam Designed to Entice Return Calls
Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians about a new phone scam. The One-Ring Phone Scam is designed to trick targets into making costly international calls. The scam begins with a call and a quick hang-up after one ring. The call is made from an international number, using numbers that at first glance appear to originate from inside the United States. If the recipient of the call calls back, the scammer will try to keep the conversation going as long as possible. There is often a connection fee and per-minute charge associated with these international calls. The scammers, through prearranged agreements, receive a portion of these fees.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Scammers will try anything to separate you from your hard-earned money. Don’t fall for this crafty new scam. If you do not recognize a number, do not call it back, and if something seems suspicious, report it to my office immediately or contact the Federal Communications Commission.” More.
Attorney General Moody Announces Millions in Debt Relief for Florida Students
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced millions of dollars’ worth of debt relief for former ITT Tech students in Florida. The loan forgiveness is part of a multistate agreement with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC, to stop collecting outstanding loans for tuition at ITT Tech, a failed for-profit college. The Florida Attorney General’s Office and other attorneys general alleged that ITT Tech, with CUSO’s knowledge, pressured and coerced students to accept temporary credits to cover tuition shortfalls. When students were unable to repay the temporary credits, the students faced the choice of entering into high interest loans from CUSO or leaving school. Neither CUSO nor ITT informed students of the true cost of the temporary credits until after the credits were converted into a loan, causing students to default on loans and experience damaging credit reports. More than $6.8 million in debt relief will be available to former ITT Tech students in Florida.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Student loan debt is a heavy burden to pay off, but even more so when students are coerced into immediate payment through intimidation. This agreement holds CUSO accountable for its participation with ITT Tech in subjecting students to abusive lending practices. It also provides relief to hundreds of Florida students who attended ITT Tech and incurred debts in seeking an education.” More
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody held a news conference in Miami with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and other local elected officials to urge Floridians to download the new NO SCAM price gouging app. NO SCAM allows Floridians to report price gouging to the Attorney General’s Office in real-time. For more information, including how to download the app, click here.
Attorney General Moody with Miami journalist and radio host Ninoska Perez for an interview on Radio Mambí 710 AM radio about NO SCAM.
Attorney General Moody with Israeli Consul General to Florida Lior Haiat and radio host Ninoska Perez at the Radio Mambí 710 AM radio station.
Attorney General Moody with radio hosts Carines Moncada and Agustín Acosta from Actualidad Radio 1040 AM in Miami, informing the community about the NO SCAM app to report price gouging.
Attorney General Moody joining Brad Swanson on Florida Internet and Television for an interview about the NO SCAM app. To watch the interview, click here.
Attorney General Moody at a community issues forum in the Keys with local law enforcement, State Attorney Dennis Ward and community and business leaders.
Attorney General Moody hosted the inaugural Senior Scam Stoppers Workshop and Awards program to inform seniors about emerging scams and recognize outstanding Seniors vs. Crime volunteers.
Attorney General Moody presenting Seniors vs. Crime volunteer Alan Campbell with a Super Senior Sleuth Award commemorating Campbell's work combatting scams and fraud out of North Miami Beach. For more information about Alan, click here.
Attorney General Moody presenting Seniors vs. Crime volunteer Chuck Sheehan with a Super Senior Sleuth Award commemorating Sheehan's work combatting scams and fraud out of Fernandina Beach. For more information about Chuck, click here.
Attorney General Moody presenting Seniors vs. Crime volunteer Jay Todras with a Super Senior Sleuth Award commemorating Todras' work combatting scams and fraud out of Polk County. For more information about Jay, click here.