“Veterans Day is a key opportunity for scam artists to target those who are serving or have served their nation,” said Toby Barfield, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. “At BBB, we believe our military consumers deserve the level of respect and support commensurate with the effort they make every day on behalf of the rest of us, and we will do our utmost on their behalf by promoting a safe and ethical marketplace for all military consumers.”
Types of scams to watch out for include:
• Posing as the Veterans Administration and contacting vets to say they need to update their credit card, bank or other financial records with the VA
• Charging veterans for services they could get for free or less expensively elsewhere
• Fraudulent investment schemes that convince veterans to transfer their assets into an irrevocable trust
• Posing as government contractors recruiting veterans and then asking for a copy of the job applicants’ passport
• Offering “instant approval” military loans that can have high interest rates and hidden fees
• Advertising housing online with military discounts and incentives, and then bilking service personnel out of the security deposit
• Trying to sell security systems to spouses of deployed military personnel by saying the service member ordered it to protect his or her family
• Selling stolen vehicles at low prices by claiming to be soldiers who need to sell fast because they have been deployed
• Posing on online dating services as a lonely service member in a remote part of Iraq or Afghanistan, and then asking for money to be wired to a third party for some emergency
BBB also warns military consumers to watch out for questionable charity appeals that raise funds on behalf of military organizations. Telephone solicitors will claim to be with a group that is helping veterans, service members or their families. Always check out the organization with BBB to verify that the charity meets BBB charity standards.
BBB Military Line provides free financial literacy and consumer protection services to the military community, as well as information on the latest scams, schemes, and ID theft tactics that threaten them. Consumers can check out businesses and charities at bbb.org. Military personnel and veterans who need assistance should contact the United Service Organizations (www.uso.org)
About BBB serving Eastern North Carolina
Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 3,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit bbb.org.