Free resources identify top scams facing the military community and ways to fight back
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, AARP launched the AARP Veterans Fraud Centera new online training and resource center to help protect veterans, military members and their families from fraud.
According to a AARP investigation, one in three military adults/veterans said they have lost money to scams that specifically try to take advantage of the trust they have in the military community. Veterans, active duty military and their families are 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population. These people lost more than $267 million in 2021, against $102 million in 2020 (an increase of 162%), according to the Federal Trade Commission.
“Targeting scams at members of the military community is wrong,” said Troy Broussard, Senior Advisor, AARP Veterans and Military Families Initiative and U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran. “AARP’s Veterans Fraud Center is designed to alert veterans and their families to the latest scams and how to avoid them.”
Top scams aimed at veterans include:
- Benefit Buyouts: Transfer of US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) retirement and/or disability benefits for a supposed lump sum payment that never materializes (47%).
- Fraudulent records scam: payment for updated personal military records (32%).
- The fake charity request: Donating to fake veteran charities (32%).
Free resources in the AARP Veterans Fraud Center include:
Some good advice AARP Fraud Watch Network recommends in particular: registration in the national registry of do not call numbers and the use of a call blocking service; use strong and unique passwords for each online account; use two-factor authentication when available; and placing a free security freeze on credit reports at each of the three major credit bureaus. Plus, veterans never have to pay for their service or benefits – if they’re told otherwise, it’s a scam.
AARP will host a online seminar on Thursday May 12 to 3 p.m. ET with the Federal Trade Commission and the US Postal Inspection Service on top scams targeting veterans.
To learn more about the AARP Veterans Fraud Center and to download a free copy of the new Watchdog Alert Handbook: Veterans’ Edition, visit www.aarp.org/vetsfraudcenter. For additional resources and information about AARP’s support for veterans and military families, including caregiving, competing in today’s job market, and connecting to earned service benefits , visit www.aarp.org/veterans.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose their lifestyle as they age. With a national presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and champions what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the most popular publications in the country: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.