Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, says BBB Military Line, located in the "For Consumers" section of the http://www.ct.bbb.org website, provides assistance for members of the military and their families.
“Unfortunately, many of the victims are struggling to survive and don’t know where to turn for help.”
Connecticut BBB cautions military families that the scams come in many shapes and sizes:
High priced military loans - Advertisements for loans that promise guaranteed instant approval or no credit check don’t highlight the loans’ hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. Legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply and any loan that requires an upfront fee is a scam.
Veterans’ benefits buyout plans – These plans offer a cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran’s future benefits or pension payments. The sum is often only 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to. Buyout plans can be structured in several different ways, so research thoroughly before signing over anything.
Fake rental properties - Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in scam advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives. Service members have to pay a fee via wire transfer for security payments or to obtain a key to the property. In the end they lose their money and receive nothing but an unpleasant surprise when they discover the property wasn’t really up for rent.
Phony jury duty summons - A caller posing as a local court system employee claims that the service member did not show up for jury duty and now has a warrant out for their arrest.
When victims say they never received a summons, the caller asks for a credit card number or Social Security number to “clear up the matter.”
Misleading car sales – Websites posting classified ads may offer phony discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicle in a hurry, claiming they are being deployed. Upfront fees will be required via wire transfer. If a vehicle is delivered, it may have significant mechanical, electrical, structural or cosmetic problems.
Expensive life insurance policies – High pressure sales pitches offer unnecessary and expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors will make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer.
Actively deployed troops can place an Active Duty Alert on their credit report. This will minimize the risk of identity theft because creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until verifying identity.
Families seeking assistance in the marketplace and access to additional resources for all branches of the service will find the BBB Military Line at http://www.ct.bbb.org/
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit http://www.ct.bbb.org/
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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.