Veterans Beware Of Con Artists

Veterans Day is one where we take time to honor those who have served our country. It’s also a time when scammers come out to take advantage of our veterans and active duty military personnel. BBB wants to make sure those who serve us do not become victims of fraud.

Veteran’s scams can take many forms. BBB provides the following information on different types of offers and scams that can put our veterans at jeopardy of becoming victims of fraud, paying more for items than they should or identity theft.

Types of Scams:

Look out for firms that target veterans and charge them for products and services they can receive free or at lower cost elsewhere, such as military records and forms.

* Be cautious of scammers who contact veterans saying that they need to update their credit card information or other records with the Veterans Administration. The scammers then use the information to commit identity theft.

* Be wary of bogus charities with names that reference the Armed Forces and seek donations.

* Hang up on fraudsters calling themselves veteran advocates who try to convince veterans that they can get more benefits by transferring their investments into an irrevocable trust, which often contains unsuitable investments.

* Military Loans: Flashy offers promising "up to 40 percent of your monthly take home pay," "guaranteed loans," "instant approval," "no credit check," "all ranks approved," often come with sky-high interest rates and hidden fees designed to bilk borrowers out of cash and damage financial security.

* Housing: Ads promising military discounts and too-good-to-be-true incentives use stolen photos of legitimate rental properties to bait renters out of security deposits via money transfer schemes.

* Cars: Low-priced vehicles posted on classified ad websites tout discounts for military personnel, or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell fast because they've been deployed. Schemers convince buyers to wire money; however, vehicle data is stolen.

* Veterans for Hire: This scam targets our younger vets. Scammers pose online as representatives of government contracting firms. When veterans contact them for a job, they ask for a copy of the veteran’s passport before they can officially offer them a job. Of course there is no job to offer and the con artist now has personal information that can be used for identity theft.

What to do? BBB offers help:
* Protect Finances: Never wire transfer money to strangers.

* Check Companies and Charities: Research companies at for free BBB Reliability Reports or Charity Review Reports.

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