Veterans Education Success praises FTC’s Action Today Against Victory Media and GI Jobs Magazine for Defrauding Veterans with its Fake “Military Friendly Schools” Rankings and Promotions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
Contact: Carrie Wofford (202) 838-5050
Also available for interview:
US Navy Veteran Rodney Liptak, who was defrauded by this scheme: (812) 493-3444 October 19, 2017 –
Today, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with Victory Media corporation over its deceptive “Military-Friendly Schools” rankings, website, and promotional emails, which purported to help veterans and servicemembers find military-friendly colleges, when, in reality, it was a “pay-to-play” scheme that promoted low-quality colleges willing to pay the most. Under the settlement terms, Victory Media and its magazine GI Jobs are forbidden from continuing to mislead students and must prominently disclose that its rankings are actually paid endorsements.
Veterans Education Success first exposed this fraud in a report: Misleading Websites and “Lead Generators”: A Case Study: Victory Media’s “Military Friendly Schools” (Aug. 2016, updated Feb. 2017), and then supported the FTC, to the extent permissible, in its investigation.
“We were very heartened that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took our report seriously and investigated this ‘pay-to-play’ scheme that defrauded veterans,” said Veterans Education Success President Carrie Wofford. “However, the proof is in the pudding. We will need to monitor Victory Media’s websites and GI Jobs magazines to see if they keep lying to veterans, or if they stop.”
“More needs to be done. We hope military installations will now remove this fraudulent ‘Military-Friendly Schools’ list and GI Jobs magazine off the bases and out of the servicemembers’ transition (TAP) classes, and we hope VA will get the GI Jobs magazine out of VA hospitals. It’s terrible for VA and DOD to be taken in by what FTC has now exposed as a fraudulent pay-to-play scheme.”
“Congress also needs to act: It must reinstate the GI Bill for veterans who were defrauded out of their GI Bill by fraud factories posing as colleges.”
One of the veterans who first told Veterans Education Success about the misleading “Military Friendly Schools” ranking is US Navy veteran Rodney Liptak, who said: “I was in the Navy for 20 years and every month a new copy of GI Jobs printed magazine would show up in the work center! It always had good job seeker information in it for after service. So when I retired and went to check out colleges, the for-profit college Brown Mackie had a 3×5 foot vinyl banner hanging on the front of the building touting it as one of ‘GI Jobs Top 100 Military Friendly Colleges’! I saw it and it had a major impact on me before I even went inside to inquire. Little did I know it was a scam school. I never ever heard of a for-profit college? I thought all colleges being funded by the VA were vetted and screened before funding was approved by the GI Bill…. I trusted GI Jobs and the VA. I would have never signed up if I knew the truth ahead of time. Now 3 years later this college is out of business! My credits don’t transfer to Disney World. It was a hard lesson and I am shocked that I got taken a sucker.”