Impostors “phish” for Veterans in new scam
Better Business Bureau warns ex-service members
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Anticipate potential fraud this Veteran’s Day. Officials warn military personnel and family to watch for crooks via telephone and email.
“The goal is to get access to the benefits the government provides to the veteran’s accounts,” says Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau. Scammers say some vets qualify for money from “secret” government programs, cash upfront for higher disability or pension payments later or charge for access to military records.
“They use vet-oriented twists on identity theft, phishing scams, impostor scams and investment and loan deceptions,” explains Horton. Frauds pretend to represent organizations that support Veterans, including fake charities. Horton continues, “The scam list is long, but the warning signs are those most of us know or at least should. They are the same signs that tip us off to the IRS or Social Security card scams. Like all other government agencies, the VA never calls to request personal information like your Social Security number. The VA will never ask for personal data by text or email either.”
If you want to donate to a military-affiliated charity, here’s how you can avoid being scammed:
- Ask for written information on the charity and its finances before making a decision
- Avoid pressure into making an on-the-spot donation
- Check charity monitoring services like BBB’s Give.org for legitimate organizations
Officials remind Veterans to take action on protecting themselves and their families from being ripped off. Most importantly “think before you act” and “verify then trust.”
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