FTC warns of scams targeting veterans


WASHINGTON (WWLP) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says they received more than 378,000 complaints from veterans over the past four years with over 160,000 fraud related. They reported a total monetary loss of $205-million.

For both veterans and active duty personnel, imposter scams were among the top five scams causing a financial loss. Imposters pose as an entity that you trust, such as the government, a bank or other financial institution, or a business you may have purchased goods or services from.

Scammers pose as officials from the IRS and other government agencies, or a utility, to get your money. They can alter caller ID to make the call look official. They threaten to take your driver’s license or sue, arrest, or deport you, or shut off your water, gas, phone and electricity if you don’t pay. Just hang up. A legitimate government official won’t threaten you or insist that you pay with a gift card, a wire transfer, or cashier’s check.

Some scammers are phishing for your personal information and pretend to be from legitimate businesses, including popular online shopping websites. They say your credit card has been charged a large amount of money for an order, or that you’ve won a gift or special discount. They’ll give you the company’s support phone number and tell you to immediately call. The scammers want you to call their number so they can ask for your passwords, credit card number, and other sensitive information to get access to your money.

Online dating is a scam that pulls at your heart strings. You meet someone on a social networking site. They seem like a perfect match, but then they ask you to send money for a variety of reasons, including transportation to come to visit, or help paying bills. If an online love interest asks you for money, don’t send it, it’s a scam.

There are dozens of ways that scammers work to get your personal information and access to your money. Check out more tips to avoid these scams at ftc.gov/imposters.

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