CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Scams targeting veterans

CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Scams targeting veterans
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 2:34 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Scammers are targeting veterans at an alarming rate. Plus, deputies, officers and a credit union teaming up to protect consumers.

SCAMS TARGETING VETERANS

Scammers play off veterans’ trust and patriotism, costing them millions of dollars.

The scam artists lure veterans with lines about benefits and military charities.

Veterans, active duty service members and their families are significantly more likely to be targeted.

They lost more than $267 million last year. The Federal Trade Commission said that is more than double from 2020.

To help veterans spot the scams, AARP launched their Veterans Fraud Center. The center is an online resource meant to keep them from losing money. The group’s research found one in three military members lost money to scams.

“Our veterans don’t deserve attempts to be taken advantage of, of their service, yet every day scammers attempt to defraud our veterans of their hard earned benefits and steal their identity or take their savings,” Troy Broussard from the AARP Fraud Watch Network said.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network tracks the top scams aimed at veterans.

The top scam? Benefit buyouts.

That’s where scammers request you turn over VA pension or disability benefits for a lump-sum payment that never materializes.

Next, requests to donate to fake veteran charities.

Plus, a fraudulent records scam where veterans are asked to pay for updated personal military records.

AARP reminds veterans that they never have to pay for their service records or earned benefits.

NEW LOCAL FRAUD SQUAD

Local law enforcement agencies joined forces with Verve Credit Union to protect the public from scammers. They just announced their new Fraud Squad.

“One man, no, one police officer, okay three officers and one credit union will change the world. Introducing the Fraud Squad,” an video from Verve announced.

The credit union, along with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and both Appleton and Fox Crossing Police Departments are working together to educate people on protecting their money and avoiding scams.

Verve said Americans lost nearly six billion dollars to scammers last year.

You can check it out at fraudsquad.com.

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