BBB Warns Of Veteran's Scams Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend

Bernie Tafoya
May 25, 2018 - 12:27 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There are warnings at the start of this Memorial Day weekend about scammers pretending they represent veteran’s groups and trying to get you to donate to them. 

Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau said, "it seems to be a time where they prey on people’s emotions, especially this time of year when people want to help."

He warns about phony calls asking you to support a veteran’s organization or soliciting military members and their families offering loans or pretending to be from the Veteran’s Administration and wanting to update their records with the military member's personal information.

"Because somebody calls you on the phone doesn’t mean necessarily that’s who they are. With today’s technology, they can change a caller ID pretty easily," Bernas said.

Bernas suggests you, "do your own research. Look on line. Check with the Better Business Bureau, but go to the charity itself, the website, to make certain you’re donating to the proper charity and it’s not just somebody trying to scam you."

In other words, don’t feel the need to donate that minute on the phone.

Common military related scams include:  

  • Impersonating a military or veteran charity to solicit donations.
  • Posing as the Veterans Administration (VA) under the guise of asking veterans to update credit card, bank or other financial records with the VA.
  • Assessing fees for services that military members could get for free.
  • Offering military loans with high interest rates and hidden fees.
  • Advertising housing online with military discounts and incentives just to snag the security deposits.
  • Selling stolen vehicles at low prices by claiming to be a soldier who needs to sell fast because he's been deployed.
  • Posing as government contractors recruiting veterans and then asking for a copy of the job applicant's passport, which can lead to identity theft.
  • Targeting military spouses with phishing emails.