Military’s transition to civilian life offers more opportunities for crooks
(FTC) – While the U.S. military is poised to defend the nation, petty crooks and big business have them in their sights.
They follow the money – and they know that military personnel receive regular salaries and valuable benefits from Uncle Sam. And the eventual transition to civilian life gives crooks even more opportunities to target troops.
For example, the FTC found that the University of Phoenix (UOP), a huge for-profit university, was targeting the military and veterans, among other things, by luring them in with bogus promises.
Under a settlement with the company, UOP paid $ 50 million in cash and canceled $ 141 million in debt owed to the school.
In another FTC enforcement action, Career Education Corporation was required to return $ 30 million to students after its agents recruited Patriotic Americans using bogus government websites like “Army.com” and “NavyEnlist. .com â- a ruse to get students in the door.
These cases show that you can’t always trust fancy websites or schools willing to sign up.
Earlier this year, Congress closed the so-called “90/10” loophole, which prompted predatory schools to target veterans. But the authorities must remain vigilant.
The FTC works closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and refers unfair or deceptive practices to the VA as our investigations uncover them.
Schools that prey on veterans need to understand that they will face not only enforcement action from the FTC, but also loss of eligibility for GI and Title IV funds.
There are tools to help veterans, the military, and all kinds of students navigate the education market and speak out against bad actors.
If you have a federal student loan and feel like a school has misled you or broken the law, request a loan forgiveness through the Department of Education’s Borrower Against Repayment Proceedings. (ED).
If you are just starting out, ED Opportunity Centers are designed to help prospective students apply for college admission and arrange financial aid and loans. Find one near you.
Service members: Talk to your personal finance manager for practical help with your next steps. And veterinarians can call the VA GI Bill hotline to discuss questions about educational benefits: 1-888-GIBILL (1-888-442-4551), or visit the VA site to learn more.
If you see deceptions like this – during Military Consumption Month and every month – protect the military and veteran communities by reporting them.
Use the VA Feedback Tool to file a school complaint and notify the FTC at Report Fraud.ftc.gov.
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