Unfortunately, there are a number of scams targeting military members and veterans. These scams can harm military members and military families in numerous ways - everything from stealing a one-time sum of money to stealing your identity and wiping out your bank accounts.
In order to help our military and their families protect themselves, we wanted to share nine common scams targeting military members and veterans. We want to thank the folks over at WeAreTheMighty.com for compiling this list originally.
1. Social Media Scams - Scammers use fake social media accounts, often impersonate military personnel, to befriend military troops. After developing a relationship, they will claim to be able to make you easy money and ask for personal information such as PIN numbers, bank account numbers, etc. in order to deposit cash. Then, you guessed it, they wipe out your accounts.
2. Rental Housing Scams - Fake rental homes, with addresses around military bases, are advertised on websites like Craigslist. Scammers ask for interested renters to wire funds, and then they walk away with your money.
3. Military Loans - These loans are often advertised as no background check, no fees, etc. In reality, they come with hidden fees, costs and super-high interest rates.
4. Veterans’ Benefits Buyout Scam - If you find yourself in need of quick cash, don't fall for this scam promising a cash payment in exchange for future disability pension payments and benefits. What you'll really get is only about 30% of what you had coming to you and a bit hit on your credit rating.
5. Car Purchase Scams - Like fake rental scams, the scammers use online classified postings advertising a car they have to unload fast - often pretending to be military service member who will be deployed. They ask for you to wire the funds and you, in turn, get nothing.
6. Employment Scams - Unemployment, although it is getting better, for veterans and military members is an issue and scammers know this. Scammers pose as employers who are eager to hire military members or veterans. They ask for personal information, such as bank account numbers, saying that they want to conduct a credit or background check. They then use your personal information to steal your identity and your money.
7. Jury Duty Scam - Scammers target military members claiming they work with the court system. They then tell the service member he/she has a warrant out for their arrest due to not showing up for jury duty. Of course, the scammer goes on to say this can all be taken care of if you provide them with your personal information - items like a social security number or credit card number. Do we need to explain what happens next?
8. Veterans Affairs Scam - This scam is pretty straight-forward. Scammers target veterans with phone calls claiming they are required to update their personal information with Veterans Affairs. Just remember, while the VA main claim you are deceased even when you are not, they will never call and ask for your private information.
9. Military Life Insurance Scams - In this instance, insurance agents are very aggressive with their sales tactics. They make false and inflated claims pushing military members to purchase expensive policies with life insurance policy benefits that are most likely unnecessary.
To read the above list in its entirety, make sure to visit WeAreTheMighty.com. The website also makes a very good suggestion for military members and veterans looking to protect themselves from scams. They recommend you visit the Better Business Bureaus BBB Military Line website for tips and information on protecting yourself and your family from scammers.
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