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Chicago and Northern Illinois
Better Business Bureau Warns of Memorial Day Scams Targeting Military, Families, and Supporters
May 10, 2012

Chicago, IL- May 10, 2012 - Memorial Day is a time tohonor those who died in service to our country. Sadly, it has also become a keyopportunity for scammers to target those who are currently serving or haveserved their nation, especially elderly veterans. The Better Business Bureauserving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) urges military members andsupporters to lookout for scam deals and disreputable charities.

Scams can include efforts to target service personnel andtheir families as well as efforts that appear to help via charities. It isimperative to educate service members and consumers on the proper practiceswhen donating money or determining the validity of charities.

“There are charities that claim to be raising money onbehalf of military organizations and families when in fact those dollars rarelygo to help those in need” said SteveJ. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “When you make a donation, always check www.bbb.org to see if the group meets BBB charitystandards.” 

The BBB urges militarymembers and supporters to watch out for the following scams:

 

·        Groupsor individuals posing as the Veterans Administration and contacting veterans tosay they need to update their credit card, bank or other financial records withthe VA;

·        Scammerscharging service members for services they could get for free or lessexpensively elsewhere, such as military records;

·        Fraudulentinvestment schemes that convince veterans to transfer their assets into anirrevocable trust;

·        Offering“instant approval” military loans (“no credit check,” “all ranks approved”)that can have high interest rates and hidden fees;

·        Advertisinghousing online with military discounts and incentives, and then conning servicepersonnel out of the security deposit;

·        Tryingto sell things like security systems to spouses of deployed military personnelby saying the service member ordered it to protect his or her family;

·        Posingas government contractors recruiting veterans and then asking for a copy of thejob applicants’ passport (which contains a lot of personal information).

“In addition, the BBB urges service members,veterans and all consumers in general to never give personal identificationinformation (Social Security, bank account, military identification or creditcard numbers, etc.) to anyone who contacts them by phone or e-mail.” Bernascontinued, “Be wary of any solicitations that involve making a purchaseor the transfer of money.”

Consumers can check out businesses and charities forfree at www.bbb.org