Critter Corner: Scams Targeting Veterans and What to Do

Dear Magic,

I have read that scams targeting veterans are pretty prevalent, and that is so unfortunate. Can you tell me what types of scams they are, so I can warn my dad?

Thanks for your help!

Nomar Scamms

Dear Nomar,

Unfortunately, as you mentioned, some of the men and women who bravely served our country have become a prime target of telephone scammers and online thieves. In addition to the scam pitches that target seniors, veterans are under special attack by a number of targeted scams tailored just for them.

Scammers who target veterans (or any seniors for that matter) are ruthless, and they do not hesitate to steal from our national heroes and rob their families of the financial security they fought so hard to secure. The Postal Inspection Service and AARP are warning all Americans who have served in the military to look out for the following Veteran-tailored scams:

  • The benefits buyout offer. Scammers take advantage of Veterans in need by offering a quick upfront buyout, usually at a fraction of the value, of future disability or pension payments.
  • The fake charitable giving request. Scammers make fraudulent claims about charitable giving that benefits Veterans or wounded service members.
  • Fraudulent records offer. Scammers try to charge Veterans a fee to access military records or government forms, information that is actually available for free through the National Archives (for military records) and VA.gov or local VA offices (for forms)
  • The VA phishing scam. Scammers posing as VA employees call Veterans to “phish” for Social Security numbers and personal financial information, which they use to access bank accounts and/or open fake credit card accounts.
  • The bogus employment scam. Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a Veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.

Scammers who target veterans typically want money and personal/bank information. Veterans, and all Americans, should be suspicious of any phone call or email requesting they send or transfer money or ask for personal information of any kind (e.g., Social Security number, etc.)

The AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have partnered in the launch of Operation Protect Veterans — a national campaign to warn those who have served in the military about scams and fraud schemes that target Veterans. Together, they aim to expose these frauds and counter the increasing assault on our Veterans.

Hope this is helpful, and that your father isn’t the victim of any of these or other scams!

Magic

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