Veterans Day is a day of remembrance and honoring of those who have served in our military. While many take time to give thanks and appreciation, scammers often take this time of year to target veterans and active military from various angles and use the victim’s military status as a pawn. Better Business Bureau of Central New England wants military and citizens alike to be aware of common scams that target our military and veterans or the citizens that want to support them.
To avoid falling victim, learn more about the common tactics scammers use:
- Phone Scams. Scammers will pose as a Veterans Administration employee, calling veterans to requested “updated” personal and financial information. They may threaten to cancel benefits and prey on their victims fear and emotions to get them to comply with demands.
- Rental listings. Bogus online rental listings are used to lure military and civilians alike. However, scammers will often include a “military discount” to attract military and veteran’s attention. In this scam, typically, victims are asked to wire money to cover rent only to later learn then listing was fraudulent and wired money is irrecoverable.
- Military loans. Targeted specifically towards our servicemen and women, they claim instant approval, no credit checks, but fail to mention high interest rates and hidden fees.
- Charity schemes. Solicitations for charities that claim to support military and veterans. It may take the form of a postcard in the mail, an email message, a social media post or even a person going door-to-door. But just because the solicitation claims that it is collecting money for veterans' causes, doesn't mean the funds are really going there. Charity fraud varies from outright scams to a misrepresentation of how much of a donation actually goes to help veterans. Research the charity to learn more about the organization and how your contribution will benefit them before agreeing to a donation.
BBB encourages all consumers to carefully review any business they are interested in working with and any unsolicited offer they receive. BBB Military Line works to increase the level of financial literacy within military communities and reduce the number of military personnel that fall victim to predatory practices such as high interest auto loans, expensive insurance sales, risky real estate deals and work from home scams. Specific programs include financial readiness training, fraud and scam alerts, company and charity reviews, and dispute resolution services.