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Veteran Scam – November Spotlight

As we honor our military veterans this November, we extend our gratitude for their sacrifices to keep our communities and country safe. Unfortunately, some scammers specifically target veterans and use sneaky tactics to obtain personal and financial information. According to an AARP article, imposter scams account for nearly 40 percent of the military community’s fraud losses. Additionally, another study from AARP found that veterans and service members are targeted by scammers at a much higher rate than other civilians.

These con artists will often use the following ploys:

  • Advertise to veterans that they qualify for money from “secret” government programs but must first provide personal information or a small fee.
  • Offer to accept a cash payment upfront in exchange for a substantial increase in future disability or pension payments.
  • Demand payments for access to their service records or forms.

*Please note: This material can be requested for free from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

  • Offer increased pension plans in turn for investing in financial products that make it appear they have fewer assets. What is not told to veterans is that this action could disqualify them from other government help, including Medicaid, and limit access to their finances.
  • Ask for donations to fake charity organizations
  • Pose as a soon-to-be-deployed service member

These are only a few of the scams targeting our veterans. Others may target veterans seeking jobs, health care or education. To learn more, please visit AARP’s veterans fraud center.

Warning Signs

According to an article posted on AARP’s website, the following are indicators and red flags that you may be a target of a veteran scam:

  • An unsolicited call claiming to be from the VA. They may request personal information like your Social Security number or bank information. Please note, the VA will NEVER ask for personal data by phone, text or email.
  • An unsolicited call or online message offering to increase your benefits or sign-up for rare, lesser-known government programs.
  • A call from a fundraiser or veteran’s charity you are unfamiliar with
  • A call stating the veteran needs “previously undisclosed” federal government forms.

Let’s return the favor to our veterans and help keep them safe, just like they have done for us. Happy Veterans’ Day to all who have served our country!