The United States Postal Inspection Service and the AARP Fraud Watch Network have teamed up to launch Operation Protect Veterans, a public awareness campaign warning veterans about scams. The program will provide veterans with vital information to help them protect themselves.
Veterans are twice as likely as the general public to fall prey to scammers. There are many contributing factors to this, including that scammers are aware that military veterans have a special connection they may exploit for profit.
The scams are just modified to appeal to veterans. The following are some of the more common veteran scams that everyone should be aware of:
Offer to buy back benefits
Scam with VA loans
Providing fraudulent records
VA phishing scam
Fraudulent employment schemes
Operation Protect Veterans recommends that every Veteran:
Take a look at the charity's name. Some charity scams utilize names that sound similar to actual charities.
Make sure it's genuine. Before contributing money, confirm the organization's legitimacy using recognized charity checking websites like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau.
Don't feel obligated to give money right away. Most charities would gladly offer you extra information about themselves, so feel free to ask questions and request additional resources.
Request annual reports. Request a copy of the charity's annual report and financial statement if you are unfamiliar with it. If the company refuses to disclose these, you should be suspicious right away.
Caution should be taken when it comes to cash donations. Be wary of solicitors who claim they can only accept financial donations; respectable organizations usually get gifts or other forms of support in various ways.
Solicitors who seem suspect should be reported. Inform law enforcement if solicitors refuse to identify themselves. You can contact your local police or AARP (firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-800-9023).
Visit Operation Protect Veterans for complete scam information, resources and more so you can stay one step ahead of the scammers.
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