CHICAGO, IL – November 10, 2011- Veterans Day
honors those who served our country. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when
scammers come out to take advantage of our veterans and active duty personnel, cautions
the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB).
“It is disgraceful
that those who are among the most dedicated and selfless of our public servants
would be targeted by scammers, but they are,” said Steve J. Bernas, President &
CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago
and northern Illinois.
“Our military consumers need to be aware of common scams aimed at them and ways
to avoid becoming a victim.”
scams can take many forms. The BBB warns of the following types of scams that
may put veterans at risk of fraud or identity theft.
Scams to Watch For:
out for firms that target veterans and charge them for products and services
they can receive free or at lower cost elsewhere, such as military records and
cautious of scammers who contact veterans saying that they need to update their
credit card information or other records with the Veterans Administration. The
scammers then use this information to commit identity theft.
up on fraudsters calling themselves veteran’s advocates who try to convince
veterans that they can get more benefits by transferring their investments into
an irrevocable trust, which often contains unsuitable investments.
Loans: Flashy offers promising "up to 40 percent of your monthly take home
pay," "guaranteed loans," "instant approval," "no
credit check," "all ranks approved," often come with sky-high
interest rates and hidden fees designed to bilk borrowers out of cash and may damage
Ads promising military discounts and too-good-to-be-true incentives often use
stolen photos of legitimate rental properties to bait renters out of security
deposits via money transfer schemes.
Low-priced vehicles posted on classified ad websites tout discounts for
military personnel, or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell fast because
they've been deployed. Schemers convince buyers to wire money; however, vehicle
data is stolen and the car does not exist.
For Hire: This scam targets our younger veterans. Scammers pose online as
representatives of government contracting firms. When veterans contact them for
a job, they ask for a copy of the veteran’s passport before they can officially
offer them a job. There is no job to offer and the con artist now has personal
information that can be used for identity theft.
Watch out for questionable charity appeals that
raise funds on behalf of military organizations. Visit www.bbb.org/charity
for a list of nationally soliciting charities to make sure any charity you’re
interested in donating to meets BBB’s Standards.
BBB advises service members, veterans and all consumers never to give personal
identification information (Social Security, bank account, military
identification or credit card numbers, etc.) to anyone who contacts them by
phone or e-mail, and to be wary of any solicitations that involve purchasing
something or transferring money. Consumers can check out businesses and
charities for free at www.bbb.org
For more information on
keeping yourself and our veteran’s safe, visit www.bbb.org
private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is
to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by
means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising
claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop
and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.