As Memorial Day approaches, BBB is urging active and military veterans and their families to be on the lookout for scams!
Here are BBB’s Top Ten Military Scams:
- Scammers posing as the Veterans Administration and asking veterans to update their credit card, bank or other financial records with the VA.
- Overcharging service members for free or cheap services such as military records.
- Fraudulent investment schemes that convince veterans to transfer their assets into an irrevocable trust.
- Offering “instant approval” military loans (“no credit check,” “all ranks approved”) that can have high interest rates and hidden fees. Remember, legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.
- Advertising housing with military discounts and incentives. Service members will pay a fee via wire transfer for a security deposit or a key to the property – in the end they will receive nothing.
- Selling things such as security systems to spouses of deployed military personnel by saying the service member ordered it to protect his or her family.
- Selling stolen vehicles at low prices by claiming to be soldiers who need to sell fast due to upcoming deployment.
- Posing as government contractors recruiting veterans and then asking for a copy of the job applicants’ passport (which contains a lot of personal information);
- Members of the military are often the targets of unnecessarily expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors may make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer;
- Posing on online dating services as a lonely service member in a remote part of Iraq or Afghanistan, and then asking for money to be wired to a third party.
BBB recommends service members, veterans, and their families to never give personal information to someone they do not know. Also, military who are deployed should put an active duty alert on their credit reports to minimize the risk of identity theft. For more military information, visit www.bbb.org/us/military-line.
BBB Military Line, the military arm of the Better Business Bureau, provides free resources, such as financial literacy information, access to BBB services and scam alerts, and complaint and dispute resolution for all branches of the U.S. military.