Avoid Memorial Day scams | Better Business Bureau

While American citizens, soldiers and veterans take time off on Memorial Day to appreciate military heroes, schemers exploit opportunities to scam.

Reports of frauds and scams spike around holidays; Memorial Day is no exception.

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington reminds servicemen, servicewomen and their families that scammers will be stepping up efforts this Memorial Day weekend. Guard against:

  • Unsolicited callers, mailers or door-to-door solicitors that need to “verify” personal information for Veterans Affairs’ benefits.
  • High-pressure charitable appeals on behalf of organizations or associations that allegedly serve military members or veterans.
  • Suspicious sellers that pitch expensive, unnecessary products and services to military personnel and spouses of the deployed—especially if offers are available elsewhere for free.

With so many deployed overseas, non-military consumers should be especially wary of unrealistic or too-good-to-be-true money-wiring pleas. Common stories include:

  • Soldiers who need assistance shipping large treasures out of the country.
  • High-ranking U.S. commanders who are looking for investments in seized oil refineries.
  • Servicemen who are “looking for love” on dating websites and need financial help getting back into the country.
  • Traveling troops who need to get rid of vehicles quickly and cheaply—usually via online classifieds.
  • Administrative military personnel who request “necessary” fees to establish next-of-kin benefits.

Never wire money out of the country to unknown recipients; like cash, it is nearly impossible to recover lost funds.

BBB Military Line offers free local resources to military members, veterans and their families; to stay educated on other local scams, visit bbb.org.