Memorial Day Scams Target Military, Families, Supporters
Memorial Day is a time to honor those who serve and remember those who have died in war. But sadly, it has also become a key opportunity for scammers to target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly veterans. BBB is urging consumers and donors to be on the lookout for deals that seem too good to be true, and for disreputable charities.
“Military personnel are targeted for a few of reasons: they get a steady paycheck, they tend to be young, they move around a lot, if they’re deployed they may not be watching their finances/personal info closely, everything in the military revolves around their social security number, so it’s easy for them to have their identity stolen,” said Coleen Smith
Executive Director of the BBB Education Foundation.
Please visit www.give.org to verify a charity before giving and be on the lookout for these common scams:
Scams that target Military Personnel
Fraudulent investors try to convince veterans to transfer their assets into an irrevocable trust.
Callers pose as the Veterans Administration and request military personnel to update credit card, bank or other financial records with the VA.
Scammers pose as government contractors recruiting veterans and will ask for a copy of the job applicants’ passport.
Companies specifically target military for services they could get for free or less expensively elsewhere.
Ads that offer “instant approval” military loans (“no credit check,” “all ranks approved”) that can have high interest rates and hidden fees.
Ads that offer military discounts and incentives online on housing and then cheat service personnel out of their security deposit.
Scams that target Military Supporters
Scammers try to sell services like security systems to spouses of deployed military personnel by saying the service member ordered it to protect his or her family.
People sell stolen vehicles at a low price and claim to be soldiers who need to sell quickly because they’ve been deployed.
Individuals that pose on online dating services as a lonely service member in a remote part of Iraq or Afghanistan, and ask for money to be wired to a third party for some emergency.
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.
For more information, visit www.bbb.org/us/military-line.