Con artists often use malicious tactics to steal the money and identities of deployed troops and military families.
The Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington urges consumers to watch out for these scams:
Phone scams: Impostors pose as Veterans Administration employees and call to “verify” personal information, sometimes using scare tactics such as VA benefits cancellations to collect birthdates, Social Security numbers, and bank account information.
Military loans: Sketchy lenders promise “instant approvals” and no credit checks, but loans often carry extremely high interest rates and hidden fees.
Insurance policies: Solicitors make false statements or inflate claims regarding the benefits of policies they offer, using high-pressured sales pitches to sell expensive – and often unnecessary – life insurance policies.
The BBB advises consumers to do research on businesses and charities by visiting bbb.org before giving out personal information, making payments, or giving donations. Deployed service members can also sign up for “active duty” credit alerts to minimize the risk of identity theft.
The BBB Military Line provides resources to all branches of the U.S. military.