INDIANAPOLIS— Friday is Veterans Day, a day to honor the men and women who have served our country.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about scams targeting current and former military personnel.
Since 2019, veterans and military retirees have filed 295,993 fraud reports with the Federal Trade Commission with 25 percent of them reporting losses totaling $842 million.
The top scams include business imposters, government imposters, online shopping, tech support scams, and sweepstakes/prizes.
“It’s a pretty big problem,” said Carol Kando-Pineda, Counsel in the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Education.
Scammers pose as well-known companies, as well as government agencies to fool veterans.
“I think there certainly are scammers posing as VA, Social Security even as the Federal Trade Commission,” said Kando-Pineda. “Many scammers say they’re with the FTC and that you got money back but you need to pay taxes.”
The FTC says scammers want to get to a veteran’s benefits.
“Veterans have earned access to some really valuable benefits like their pension, disability benefits, mortgage related benefits,” said Kando-Pineda. “Scammers are going to go where that money is. They’re going to try to find a way to trick you into revealing personal information."
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Be leery of any calls, texts or emails out of the blue.
- Don’t click on suspicious links.
- Never give out personal information over the phone unless you’re sure who you’re talking to.
- Consider it a red flag if someone asks you to pay with cash, wire transfer, gift card or cryptocurrency.
- Before you donate, research the organization thoroughly.
- Slow down and talk to someone you trust before making a decision.
- Consider it a red flag if someone wants you to make a decision immediately.