As with any holiday, scammers are taking advantage of Memorial Day celebrations to defraud victims, particularly targeting the men and women who have served our country.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 21, 2013
Scambook, the Internet's leading complaint resolution platform, is warning consumers to be on guard for Memorial Day scams. With the May 27th holiday honoring veterans, scammers are expected to exploit the celebrations and publicity by creating fraudulent financial offers aimed at veterans and their families.
The schemes may be designed to steal money from veterans or acquire their personal information to use in identity theft.
"As with any holiday, scammers are taking advantage of Memorial Day celebrations to defraud victims, particularly targeting the men and women who have served our country," said Kase Chong, Scambook's Director of Marketing. "Veterans and their family members may be approached by scammers impersonating veterans' organizations to acquire personal information or offering false 'military only' deals."
To avoid these scams and protect veterans, Scambook is urging the public to help raise awareness for the following kinds of military family fraud:
1. Fraudulent Military Loans. Advertised as special deals "only for veterans and their families," con artists and unethical businesses may approach service members with loan offers. While these loans may appear legitimate on the surface, they often carry very high interest rates and hidden fees which the lender does not disclose.
2. Over-Priced Life Insurance and Fake Insurance. Members of the military and their family may also be targeted by individuals selling expensive, often unnecessary or useless life insurance benefits. Sellers may be misleading about the terms of these plans and pressure targets with "act now or miss out" sales tactics. Con artists may also create fake veterans insurance plans as a method to acquire personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to use for identity theft.
3. Benefits Buyout Plans. Veterans may also receive calls from individuals or businesses offering to "buyout" their future benefits or pensions with an upfront cash payment. Although tempting, these plans are frequently misleading and the cash received may only account for 30-40% of the full value the veteran or his/her family is entitled to.
4. Fake Timeshares and Vacation Packages. Scammers may create fake listings for timeshare properties or vacation packages bundled under incredible deals "for Veterans only." Advertised online or through unsolicited email, these schemes generally ask for money upfront via wire transfer or prepaid money card. These payment methods are both strong indicators that the deal is a scam.
5. "While You Were Serving" Phone Scams. Specifically targeting service members recently returning from active duty, these phone scams may cover a variety of subjects from jury duty summons to unpaid debts. The caller claims that the victim did not fulfill their obligation while serving overseas and therefore faces legal penalties, including jail time, if they do not pay. The caller generally requests payment in the form of a wire transfer or prepaid card.
Scambook advises all active duty military, veterans and their family and friends to remember the following safety tips to avoid these and other scams:
- Always read the fine print before committing to any kind of financial transaction.
- Look out for financial transactions that seem "too good to be true" or are advertised with "instant approval" and "no credit check required."
- Never give personal information to an unsolicited caller. If they claim to be a government representative or an official from a veterans group, get their information, research them, and call back if they turn out to be legitimate.
- Always consult Scambook.com or other consumer websites to research unknown companies, products or services.
- Never send money in the form of a wire transfer, prepaid credit card, cashier's check or money order. These forms of payment cannot be returned if the transaction proves fraudulent.
For more information, visit http://www.scambook.com/blog
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.