Nine Steps to Protect Against Scams Targeting Veterans

  
     
November 09, 2017

Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served our country, but unfortunately, it has also become a time to build awareness about scammers who take advantage of veterans and active duty military personnel. Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to make sure those who serve do not become victims of fraud and encourages them to stay informed about the latest schemes.

BBB shares the following tips to help veterans and their families avoid scams and fraud:

  1. Look out for those who charge for products and services veterans can receive free or at low cost, such as military records, forms, or benefits. Information on how to qualify for veteran benefits can be obtained by contacting the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services at azdvs.gov.

  1. Be cautious of unknown callers stating they need to update credit card information or records with the Veterans Administration. Remember to be wary of any unsolicited, or unexpected communication asking for personal information.

  1. Know the risk of using non-DOD sanctioned APP -There are potential dangers in using third party mobile applications that access the Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) Take caution when using non-DOD sanctioned apps that are from third party mobile applications. They are not sponsored by the Department of Defense or U.S. Government and using non-sanctioned apps to access myPay accounts can compromise account information and may lead to theft of funds. For more information on cyber crime and staying safe online, visit the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command website (www.cid.army.mil).

  1. Research before saying “yes” to life insurance policies. Members of the military are often targets of high-pressure sales pitches that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors usually make false claims regarding policy benefits.

  1. Donate wisely and be wary of charitable appeals from unknown organizations referencing veterans or the Armed Forces. For more information on wise giving, visit give.org.

  1. Research calls from veteran advocates offering additional benefits by transferring investments into an irrevocable trust. Before sharing personal or financial information over the phone, verify who you are speaking with. Remember, scammers can make any phone number or name appear on a caller I.D.

  2. Be cautious of enticing military loans with flashy offers promising "up to 40 percent of your monthly take home pay," "guaranteed loans," "instant approval," "no credit check," or "all ranks approved." Some loan offers come with sky-high interest rates and hidden fees.

  1. Watch out for low-priced vehicles posted on classified ad websites that advertise discounts for military personnel, or claim to be soldiers who need to sell fast because they've been deployed. Scammers often convince buyers to wire money and disappear once the money is received without delivering the vehicle. Never wire money to unknown individuals.

  1. Place an active duty alert on credit reports when deployed to help minimize the risk of identity theft. With this alert, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires creditors and businesses to verify identity before issuing or granting credit.


Veterans may report scams to BBB at bbb.org, the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center a twww.ic3.gov.

About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona 
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona serves 10 counties through its campuses in Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, Prescott and Yuma, supported by over 11,500 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to high standards of ethical business practices. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.