Memorial Day: Military Targeted Scams

May 23, 2017

Towards the end of May, the nation takes a day to commemorate the lives lost by those serving in the U.S. military. Around this time, citizens express their patriotism with charitable contributions to those who serve and have served in the military. Criminals are out to take advantage of this loyalty in the form of faulty charities, automobile hoaxes, and recently predominant online romance scams.  

Veterans and older donors are a specifically targeted population. Charities use links and telemarketing scams to fool donors and transfer money into the pockets of the charity’s for-profit companies hired to gather donations. Guarantee your donation by using the BBB Wise Giving Alliance for charity guidance and reviews. You can file a complaint against a charity if you find yourself prey to illegitimate charities.

Looking to buy a car? Cars that our BBB Auto Line® might categorize as lemons can be disguised with a hard-to-pass-up military discount. Not only are discounts used to camouflage problematic vehicles, the sellers themselves might pose as military members nearing deployment. To get rid of the car and seal the deal, this claim pressures buyers into a purchase they’ll soon regret.

Today’s media and technology have improved communication in great fashion. For deployed service members, contact with loved ones has progressed from written letters to face to face video calls. Those deceived by online romance scams may never engage outside of emails and text messages. Some go as far as sending thousands of dollars to thieves using the real names and rank of active duty service members. If the person you are involved with cushions demands of money with promises of marriage, use the tell-tale signs to discontinue the relationship and avoid a detrimental scam.

The Better Business Bureau has established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Defense to encourage partnerships with local BBBs and advocate equitable and fair business with an ultimate effort to protect service members and their families from unjust and exploitative business practice. The BBB has engineered a methodical commitment to determine and communicate possible threats and preventative measures to safeguard our military community.

The BBB Military Line stands to educate, supply services, and protect active and retired military members and their families from scams. Financial education workshops are provided, covering the topics of home buying, retirement investment, identity theft, and investments in higher education. Dispute resolution services exist to aid those targeted by scams and negligent business procedures. BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties encourages use of these programs and services.