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Building Awareness about Scams Targeting Veterans

February 11, 2014

Having dedicated their lives to serving their country, America’s veterans deserve respect in their senior years. However, the shameful truth is that they frequently end up as victims of an ever-increasing range of scams involving everything from pension benefits to identity theft. The best ways that veterans and their loved ones can protect themselves against such schemes are to stay informed and to act with caution.

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Particular red flags to look out for include:

Unknown callers wanting to update records or credit information with the Veterans Administration. Remember that federal agencies will never request personal information over the phone, and they do not send texts or e-mails to individuals.

Military loan offers that promise features such as instant approval or no credit checks. These typically signal hidden fees and high interest rates.

Firms that offer products and services like military records or forms for a fee. These documents are available elsewhere for free or at much lower charges.

Charitable donation requests from unknown organizations, even those whose names include “veterans” or “military families.” Simply referring to “veterans” does not necessarily mean that they are the ones benefiting from the charity’s activities.

For veterans who have been victimized, a number of resources are available for help and support. Chief among these is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has a dedicated Office of Servicemember Affairs designed to assist veterans and their families with consumer financial challenges.

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From → Lois Pope

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