Avoiding Scams and Identity Theft that Targets Veterans

Financial scams and fraud are becoming more and more common today, with around 2.8 million being reported in 2021. Given the benefits that veterans receive, it should come as no surprise that vets are often the target of these scams. As you look to make your financial goals to start 2023, one aspect you should consider is ensuring that you are postured from a defensive standpoint to avoid scams, identity theft, and fraud. If you don’t already have one (many veterans have received free identity theft protection due to a data breach during their time in service) consider using an identity theft protection service to ensure that you and your family are protected.

Currently experiencing identity theft? Try the Veterans identity theft hotline here.

In addition to identity theft being common given the ease of access to PII while in the military, Annuity.org also identifies a few scams and fraud attempts that veterans may be susceptible to — and educating yourself about these will increase your defensive posture. Be sure to monitor for the scams listed below and alway verify the source when conducting business involving wire transfers or other monetary transactions.

Top scams may you may experience include:

Bogus sales

A scammer claiming to be a deploying service member posts a large ticket item on a classified ad website that he needs to sell right away and at a steep discount. The scammer asks for upfront payment with a wire transfer or gift cards.

VA phishing

A caller claiming to be from the Department of Veterans Affairs calls to update your information. They may ask for bank account information, credit card numbers, or other relevant information.

Dubious investment advice

An “advisor” will tell the veteran she is missing out on benefits, and wants to review her investment portfolio. He or she will then want to put the veteran’s investments in a trust, so she’ll appear to have fewer assets and therefore be eligible for an additional pension.

Benefits buyout scam

Scammers will target veterans in need of money by offering cash in exchange for their future disability or pension payments. These buyouts are typically a fraction of the value of the benefit. $

Any other scams you have experienced during your time in service? Comment below! $

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