The Better Business Bureau warns veterans that military scams can take many forms. Be aware of these eight Top Military Scams so you can spot them in an instant and avoid becoming a victim of veteran-targeted fraud, especially rampant on Veterans Day.
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Veterans Day: Beware of Veterans Scams

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It seems inconceivable that scammers would choose Veterans Day to target those military service members who most deserve our respect and appreciation. In fact, Veterans Day has become a military scammers' holiday; scammers will actually use Veterans Day to target veterans and active duty military personnel.

Identity theft is the number one scam in America today. It is particularly insidious because the scammer is not just bilking the veteran out of a one-time amount of money; identity theft allows the scammer to use your name and your credit over and over to steal from you continuously, in various ways.

And identity theft can be hard to recover from. In addition to the financial loss, identity theft can compromise your credit can for years, affecting your ability to get a mortgage, credit cards, and other loans.

The Better Business Bureau warns veterans that military scams can take many forms. Be aware of these eight Top Military Scams so you can spot them in an instant and avoid becoming a victim of veteran-targeted fraud, especially rampant on Veterans Day.

Remember that for each of these specific scams, the criminal is also stealing your personal information which can result in long-term identity theft.

1. DON'T PAY FOR WHAT YOU CAN GET FREE

Ignore firms that try to charge you for products and services veterans can receive free or at lower cost elsewhere, such as military records and forms.

2. BEWARE OF CREDIT CARD UPDATE SCAMS

Those who contact you saying that they need to update your credit card information or other records with the Veterans Administration, are scammers who will then use the information to commit identity theft. Do not offer your personal information by phone or email. The VA would never ask you for sensitive information by phone, email or text.

3. VETERANS "CHARITIES" ?
Bogus charities choose names that reference the Armed Forces to seek military donations. Always research any charity online before donating and never give out personal information.

4. DON'T INVEST IN INVESTMENT FRAUD

Hang up on so-called veteran financial advocates who want you to transfer your investments into an irrevocable trust, or ask you to transfer any of your funds anywhere. Never give your investment information to anyone by phone or email. A legitimate financial planner would never ask you to do this.

5. DON'T LEND YOUR EAR TO BOGUS MILITARY LOANS

Advertised military loans promising to lend you "up to 40 percent of your monthly take home pay," with their "guaranteed loans," giving you "instant approval," and requiring "no credit check," while telling you up front that "all ranks are approved," are often disguises for payday loan scams which you should avoid at all costs. Unscrupulous payday lenders charge too-high interest rates and hidden fees. Don't be taken in by promises for military loans that are too good to be true.

6. FOR MILITARY RENTALS, USE A MILITARY SOURCE

Ads touting military discounts on rental properties often use stolen photos of legitimate rental properties to bait veterans out of security deposits and rent deposits via money transfers. For military rentals, use legitimate rental agencies or check on your military base for best rental options off base.

7. DRIVE A MILITARY BARGAIN, NOT A MILITARY SCAM

Ads for low-priced vehicles with special discounts for military personnel, or classified vehicle ads that claim to be from soldiers who need to sell fast because they've been deployed, are often scams. The vehicle - if one exists at all - is usually stolen. Schemers want veterans to wire money; this is a sure sign of a scam. NEVER wire money for any purchase.

8. A MILITARY SCAM TARGETING YOUNG VETS

Veterans for Hire: Scammers pose online as representatives of government contracting firms, requiring a copy of your passport before they can officially offer you a job. Now they have your personal information for identity theft. Never give your passport to any agency; a legitimate job agency would not require it.

THREE RULES TO AVOID VETERANS SCAMS

1. Never wire transfer money to strangers.

2. Check All Companies and Charities at www.bbb.org for free BBB Reliability Reports or Charity Review Reports. If they don't check out, don't check in.

3. Avoid visiting unfamiliar sites or opening emails from unknown senders. Install a firewall and updated anti-virus software.

Remember: Federal agencies do not contact veterans via email or text. If they do call by phone, federal agencies never request personal information.

Veterans who receive suspicious correspondence can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-877-222-8387.



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