Veterans targeted through scams

by Carol Kando-Pineda

Federal Trade Commission

Whether they left the service decades ago or are planning their transition to civilian life, scammers have been trying to get vets to send money or share personal information. Scammers also want to get their hands on the valuable benefits you earned through military service.

What are some ways to know you’re dealing with a scammer?

First know how scammers operate. Imposter scams come in many varieties, but they work the same way: scammers call, text, email, or reach out over social media and pretend to be someone they trust to convince them to send them money. Scammers may pretend to be from a government agency and say the vet need to pay a fine. Or they may pose as an online love interest who needs him or her to send money for an expensive medical procedure. The scammer may offer a job, too, but say the vet needs to pay a fee before they get hired. Scammers may claim to have some affinity with the military to gain their trust so they won’t dig too deep into what they’re saying.

Second, know how scammers ask you to pay. No matter what the story is, only scammers will insist that the only way you can pay is by cash, gift card, cryptocurrency, payment app or a wire transfer service. These methods make it almost impossible to get their money back, which is why scammers insist to get paid that way.

Stop. Don’t pay.

Over the next few weeks, the Federal Trade Commission will highlight some of the ways scammers try to get at your veterans benefits—and ways vets can spot and avoid those scams.

One way to recognize Veterans Day is to share the advice about avoiding scams and encourage veterans to sign up for the latest updates to stay a step ahead of scammers at

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