NOW:53208:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
21°
H 28° L 21°
Partly Cloudy | 12MPH

BBB Warns of Memorial Day Scams Targeting Service Members

May 23, 2014

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who serve and remember those who have. Unfortunately, it has also become an opportunity for scammers to target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly veterans. As Memorial Day approaches, your Better Business Bureau urges consumers and donors to be aware of scammers that feed off the military.

BBB Military Line, the military arm of the Better Business Bureau, provides free resources, such as financial literacy information, access to BBB services and scam alerts, and complaint and dispute resolution for all branches of the U.S. military.

BBB warns of the following scams that are directed at service members:

High Priced Military Loans - Advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval or no credit check will often come with hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. Remember that legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.

Veterans’ Benefits Buyout Plans - This buyout plan will offer a cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran’s future benefits or pension payments. The cash amount is only about 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to. These buyout plans can be structured in several different ways, so research thoroughly before signing anything over.

Fake Rental Properties - Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives. Service members will have to pay a fee via wire transfer for security payments or a key to the property – in the end they will receive nothing.
Fake Military Charity Websites – All official military websites have “.mil” as their domain. Make sure to check for that when opening a site claiming to be from any branch of the U.S. Military.

Phony Jury Duty Summons - A caller claims to work for the local court system and states that the service member did not show up for jury duty and now has a warrant out for their arrest. When the victim says they never got a summons, the caller will ask for a credit card or Social Security number to clear up the matter.

Misleading Car Sales – Websites posting classified ads will offer false discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicle fast since they have been deployed. Upfront fees will be required via wire transfer, or the vehicle will have problems after purchase.

Expensive Life Insurance Policies – Members of the military are often the targets of high pressured sales tactics that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors may make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer.

BBB recommends the following tips to avoid scams:

Do your research. Get as much information as you can about a business or charity before you pay. Check out a business’ BBB Business Review at bbb.org.
Don’t wire transfer money to anyone you don’t know. Money sent via wire transfer is practically impossible to track. Pay by credit card whenever possible, since you can dispute charges easily.
Protect your computer. Don’t click on links within unsolicited emails. Don’t enter personal information on unfamiliar websites. Make sure that you have updated anti-virus software installed and use a firewall at all times.

Put an Active Duty alert on your credit reports when deployed. Doing so will minimize the risk of identity theft because creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until verifying identity.

Before donating to a veterans charity, check it out. Before you write out that check, make sure you verified the charity is real, and know how much of your donation is going for direct help to veterans and how much is going to for-profit fundraisers.

For more information you can trust, visit us at www.bbb.org/wisconsin
For an online version of this story click here

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Woman drives drunk to pick up drunken driver from police station 12/10

» Suspects of five related burglaries in Wauwatosa arrested, charged 12/9

» Woman threatens to stab Sak's employee after retail theft 12/9

» Wauwatosa aderman runs for Milwaukee County supervisor 12/8

» Anonymous email threatens Wauwatosa East High School 12/5

» 600 bowlers, volleyball players to compete at the Special Olympics Wisconsin on Saturday 12/4

» Kindergarten registration sessions announced 12/3

» Oconomowoc man, Eisenhower teacher, dies unexpectedly 11/29

» HomeGoods coming to Mayfair Collection 11/24

» Wauwatosa superintendent attends President Barack Obama's 'ConnectED to the Future' event 11/18

» Children's Hospital of Wisconsin moves babies to newly designed NICU 11/18

» City Market closes North Avenue location 11/17

» Early momentum doesn't stay with Tosa East 11/14

» Wauwatosa woman investigated for stealing credit card information from Froedtert Hospital patients 11/13

» Man pointed handgun at front door of Applebee's 11/10

» UW Credit Union branch could break ground in Wauwatosa this month 11/10

» Suburban roundup: Week three of the WIAA football postseason 11/10

» Indulgence Chocolatiers to open in Wauwatosa, and sell Purple Door Ice Cream 11/10

» Former Central States Mortgage CEO to plead guilty to obstruction of justice Updated:  11/6

» Tosa East stuns Brookfield East in volleyball sectional 11/6

» Election roundup: How the Milwaukee suburbs and Lake Country voted Updated:  11/5

» Walker wins Wauwatosa by slimmer margin than the state 11/5

» Walker's neighbors divided over election 11/4

» Authorities identify Wauwatosa man killed by train Updated:  11/4

» Wauwatosa apartments sell for $2.5 million 11/4

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Advertisement

Hidden Tosa

 

"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporter Rory Linnane explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

Local Business Directory

CONNECT