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BBB Warns of Memorial Day Scams Aimed at Military Personnel
PENSACOLA - Memorial Day is a time to honor those who serve and remember those who have died in war. Sadly, it has become a key opportunity for scammers to target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly veterans. As Memorial Day approaches, the Better Business Bureau urges consumers to be aware of scams that feed off the military.
· High priced military loans - Advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval or no credit check often come with hidden fees and high interest rates. Legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.
· Veterans' benefits buyout plans - This buyout plan offers cash payment, only about 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to, in exchange for a disabled veteran's future benefits or pension payments.
· Phony jury duty summons - A caller claiming to work for the court system states that a service member didn't show up for jury duty, and has a warrant out for their arrest. The caller will ask for a credit card or social security number to clear up the matter.
· Misleading car sales - Online classified ads will offer false discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicle fast. Fees will be required upfront, or the vehicle will have problems.
· Expensive life insurance policies - Military members are often targets of high-pressured sales pitches that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies.
BBB recommends the following tips to avoid scams:
· Do your research. Get as much information as you can before you pay. Check out a business' BBB Business Review at bbb.org or a charity's Charity Report at give.org.
· Don't wire transfer money to anyone you don't know. Pay by credit card whenever possible.
· Protect your computer. Don't click on links within unsolicited emails or enter personal information on unfamiliar websites. Have updated anti-virus software installed and use firewall at all times.
· Put an Active Duty alert on your credit reports when deployed. Doing so will minimize the risk of identity theft because creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until verifying identity.
For more tips you can trust, visit http://www.bbb.org/ or bbb.org/us/military-line/. <http://www.bbb.org/us/military-line/>