WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) met Nov. 30 with Mainers concerned about the ongoing Jamaican lottery scame that has been victimizing Maine seniors and others throughout New England.
Michaud met with representatives of FairPoint, Maj. Bill King of the York County Sheriff’s Department and a victim’s representative. They discussed the need to raise awareness of the issue and what actions the federal government could take against the fraud.
Following the meeting, Michaud reached out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is the federal agency that collects complaints about companies, business practices, fraud and identity theft. As a result, Michaud and the FTC will be hosting a forum on this fraud and what Mainers can do to avoid becoming a victim. Details of the forum, which is likely to be held early next year, will be announced when they are finalized.
“Mainers are being victimized by unscrupulous scammers, and it’s critical that we raise awareness of this issue,” Michaud said. “We must also make sure authorities take this seriously and do everything possible to bring this fraud to an end.
“I’m pleased the FTC has agreed to host a forum with me, and I encourage Mainers to spread the word on these crimes so that others don’t become victims.”
While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer complaints, complaints that are filed can help law enforcement officials detect patterns of wrong-doing and lead to investigations and prosecutions. The FTC enters all complaints it receives into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database that is used by thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement authorities worldwide. Consumers can file a fraud complaint online or by phone.
The FTC’s toll free hotline is (877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357); or (877) ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).
The FTC has counselors fielding phone calls to receive consumer complaints and offer individual assistance from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.