With the excitement surrounding holidays, scammers take advantage of the celebrations and publicity by creating fraudulent financial offers that this Memorial Day are aimed at veterans and their families.
Scammers design these schemes to steal money as well as personal information for identity theft. They impersonate veterans’ organizations to acquire this information by offering false ‘military only’ deals.
To avoid these scams and protect veterans, Scambook is urging the public to help raise awareness for the following kinds of military family fraud:
1. Fraudulent Military Loans advertised as “only for veterans and their families appear legitimate on the surface, but often carry very high interest rates and hidden fees that the lender does not disclose.
2. Over-Priced Life Insurance and Fake Insurance targeting members of the military and their family. Sellers may be misleading about the terms of these plans and pressure targets with “act now or miss out” sales tactics. These fake veterans insurance plans can be a method to acquire personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to use for identity theft as well.
3. Benefits Buyout Plans where veterans receive calls from individuals or businesses offering to “buyout” future benefits or pensions with an upfront cash payment. Although tempting, these plans may be misleading and only account for 30-40% of the full value the veteran or his/her family is entitled to.
4. Fake Timeshares and Vacation Packages may be falsely listed under incredible deals “for Veterans only.” Advertised online or through unsolicited emails, these schemes ask for money upfront via wire transfer or prepaid money card, both strong indicators that the deal is a scam.
5. “While You Were Serving” Phone Scams target service members recently returning from active duty, by making claims from missed jury duty summons to unpaid debts. The caller claims that the victim did not fulfill their obligation and therefore faces legal penalties, including jail time, if they do not make a payment in the form of a wire transfer or prepaid card.