On January 25, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a joint effort with state Attorneys General and the Department of Defense to combat scams directed at servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
The tool created to combat these crimes is called the Repeat Offenders Against Military (ROAM) Database.
Its purpose is to track completed enforcement actions against companies and individuals who repeatedly scam military personnel.
This development is consistent with mission of the Bureau's Office of Servicemember Affairs to coordinate with other federal and state agencies to improve consumer protection for the military community.
According to the CFPB's announcement, ROAM will allow investigating agencies across the country to report and research scams in their neighborhoods, which means a more robust approach to investigating and stopping frauds that cross state lines.
The ROAM Database will be activated in February 2012.
What is ROAM?
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ROAM is the first national database of its kind that enables officials to run a quick search for actions taken by various federal, state and local law enforcers against those who target the military.
The Federal Trade Commission operates Military Sentinel, which is an invaluable database of consumer complaints from the military community, but it does not report on completed enforcement actions.
ROAM will have information on formal actions against perpetrators of financial schemes targeting the military.
Law enforcement officials across the country, including state Attorneys General, United States Attorneys, local officials, and Judge Advocates (JAGs) from all five branches of the armed forces, will be able to contribute to and search the database.
| Targeting Perpetrators
The ROAM Database will contain information on formal actions - both civil and criminal - that have been undertaken in courts and administrative forums against perpetrators of financial scams who have targeted servicemembers and their families.
The CFPB plans to collect information from - and make it accessible to - law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.
The database will be built by the CFPB incrementally, beginning with the collection of publicly available data, including final judgments, formal judicial and administrative filings, and other formal actions alleging particular kinds of relevant conduct. CFPB staff will gather and catalog this information directly from public sources.
Anyone can send information about formal actions to:
Law enforcement officials may send an email to request access to the database, and the CFPB will reply with registration instructions.
The ROAM Database is meant to act as an enforcement tool by encouraging officials' staffs to send copies of complaints and final judgments, or case names and docket numbers, to the ROAM Database email address.
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Repeat Offenders Against Military Database (ROAM)
"A New Tool for Protecting the Military Community"
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
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