Monday, November 10, 2014

FRAUD WATCH- Watch Out for Veteran Scams

The Fraud Watch Network, sponsored by AARP Washington and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, has issued an alert concerning scams targeting veterans or claiming to benefit veterans.

Many are typical scams that have been reported before by law enforcement agencies, but fraudsters have added veterans as specific targets or have made claims that your donation will be used to benefit veterans. The scams can include:

Charity scams: Charity scams are often used to piggy back on disasters, sick children, police or firefighter charities. Charity scams also often claim to help veterans. Along with the holiday season, Veterans Day and Memorial Day are times of the year when more scammer calls are made in the name of service personnel.

Phishing: Scammers have sent emails that looked like they are coming from the Veterans Administration. Like Medicare, the IRS and other federal agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not use the phone or email to ask for personal or financial information. Official correspondence comes only via the U.S. mail.

Benefit Schemes: Scammers will promise cash payouts for pensions and future benefits for disabled vets. The reality is that they will pay only 30 to 40 percent of their actual worth. Scammers will also claim to be “veteran’s advocates” who promise additional VA benefits by transferring retirement assets to an “irrevocable trust.” Such trusts are really unsuitable for many older veterans. The VA does not does not charge for filing pensions or other claims, scammers do.

Job scams:  Scammers will advertise that they are looking for veterans for jobs. They will use this ruse to collect personal and financial information for ID theft.

Online scams: Be wary of classified ads offering cars or other property, placed by scammers posing as soldiers deploying overseas or as families of a military member who has died. They will seek an upfront payment for a “bargain” that never materializes.

Romance scams: Recently, I reported on romance scams, where scammers claiming to live in a foreign country, fall instantly in love with you. Scammers will also pose as active-duty or retired military looking for love.

For more information about these scams, go to:

The Fraud Watch Network:



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