Some of the most cynical scams target service members, their families and veterans, warns the Better Business Bureau. Veterans’ Day is a key opportunity for scammers who would target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly vets.
“It is unconscionable that one of the most dedicated and selfless segments of our population would be targeted by unscrupulous businesses, but they are,” said Brenda Linnington, director of BBB Military Line. “At BBB, we believe our military consumers deserve the level of respect and support commensurate with the effort they make every day on behalf of the rest of us – and we’ll do our utmost on their behalf by promoting a safe and ethical marketplace for all military consumers.” BBB Military Line provides free financial literacy and consumer protection services to the military community, as well as information on the latest scams, schemes, and ID theft tactics that threaten them.
Among the scams to watch out for:
Another caution is to watch out for questionable charity appeals that raise funds on behalf of military organizations. “Telephone solicitors will call and say they are with a group that is helping veterans, service members or their families,” says Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “As with all charity appeals, before you donate, check out the organization with the BBB to verify that the charity meets BBB charity standards.”
BBB advises service members, veterans and all consumers never to give personal identification information (Social Security, bank account, military identification or credit card numbers, etc.) to anyone who contacts you by phone or e-mail, and to be wary of any solicitations that involve purchasing something or transferring money. Consumers can check out businesses and charities for free at www.bbb.org. Military personnel and veterans who need assistance should contact the United Service Organizations (www.uso.org), their state office of veterans’ affairs, or the Veterans’ Administration.
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB.