As families prepared to honor fallen service members on Memorial Day, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington reminded the public that scammers have their sights set on ripping off military personnel.
Con artists often use malicious tactics to steal the money and identities of deployed troops and military families.
Phone Scams: Impostors pose as Veterans Administration employees and call to “verify” personal information, sometimes using scare tactics like VA benefits cancellations to collect birthdates, Social Security numbers and bank account information.
Rental Listings: Cyber thieves create bogus online rental listings and lure in potential victims by offering military discounts, requiring that deposits and rent be wired to “landlords” who are out of the country.
Military Loans: Sketchy lenders promise “instant approvals” and no credit checks, but loans often carry extremely high interest rates and hidden fees.
Insurance Policies: Solicitors make false statements or inflate claims regarding the benefits of policies they offer, using high-pressured sales pitches to sell expensive—and often unnecessary—life insurance policies.
BBB advises consumers to research about businesses and charities by visiting bbb.org before giving out personal information, making payments or giving donations. Deployed service members can also sign up for “active duty” credit alerts to minimize the risk of identity theft.
BBB Military Line provides free resources to all branches of the U.S. military, including financial literacy information, scam alerts and access to BBB services such as complaint handling and dispute resolution