November is National Veterans and Military Families Month. A recent survey report by AARP reports that veterans are suffering as victims of scams twice as often as the other members of the public. In the last five years, military personnel or veterans have lost double what civilians have in terms of cash. Veterans are being targeted because they are considered to be more vulnerable due to a combination of technology and patriotism.
A scenario could go like this: A veteran could feel more comfortable talking over the phone with somebody who claims to be a veteran. Since they feel more comfortable, they may ask fewer questions when asked to donate some money for a scam charity that claims to offer support to veterans. A national campaign, Operations Protect Veterans, will soon be launched so as to help veterans be more aware of scams. You can learn more at the following website: www.aarp.org/ProtectVeterans. Also in the works are organizations that will have volunteers operating a 24 hour long telephone bank in a program known as the “reverse boiler room." Vets will be getting calls with important tips and information on how to protect themselves instead of getting calls from the con artists and crooks.
About 80% of veterans encountered scams that were targeted specifically for veterans or the military. Here are some tips to help yourself maneuver through this day and age of scams: Be on the lookout for benefit buyout offers, despite your financial situation do not be tempted to take loan or cash in exchange for your future disability or pension payouts. It’s a very expensive way of borrowing money. Fundraising that are intended to benefit telemarketers instead of veterans. Before you make any donation to a group do some extensive research on the organization. We have investment advisers who claim to offer additional government benefits if you overhaul your investment holdings. Contact your local veterans’ office for clarification on all the veterans’ benefits that you are eligible to get.Con artists will pretend to be a veteran, someone working for the VA or some big well known veteran organization. The correct number of the Veterans Choice Program is 866-606-8198.