Many service members, veterans, and military families are often targeted by con artists and become victims of a variety of scams.
These fraudulent ventures can take on a number of different forms. Often, con artists who target military consumers will falsely imply they are associated with the government or the military in order to build credibility and gain trust. Recently, the FTC has taken action against a debt collector that allegedly made threats when attempting to collect debts from service members, veterans, and their families. This was brought to light after a military consumer filed a complaint regarding a debt collector who posed as a “military liaison” and threatened to disclose a debt to the military consumer’s commanding officer. Additionally, they falsely informed the military consumer that their debt was grounds for dismissal. Similarly, in another situation, one of the nation’s largest refinancers of veteran’s homes misled consumers, falsely claiming they were affiliated with the Department Of Veteran Affairs.
Unfortunately, there are also a number of fraudulent non-profit organizations that feed of the public’s eagerness to show their support and appreciation for veterans and military families. One fake non-profit is claimed to have gathered donations by falsely claiming to use the funds to send care packages veterans in VA hospitals, support veterans memorials, and provide financial assistance to the family members for service men and women fighting overseas. Luckily, the FTC’s swift law enforcement actions have shut these scams down for good. Though enforcement helps, it is also important to give service members, veterans and their families the tools and resources they need in order to protect themselves from fraud.
Americans can continue to feel confident knowing their efforts in donating, supporting, and protecting veterans and their families are greatly appreciated.