Roanoke, Virginia (WFXR) — As Memorial Day approaches, Virginia’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns of people who serve the country, or fake charities that often deceive those who serve the country. I will.
In 2020, active service members lost more than $ 190,000 to fraudsters nationwide, according to a report produced by the BBB Scam Tracker. Veterans across the country were even more affected, with more than $ 270,000 lost in fraudulent commerce. In addition, 49% of fraud victims were 55 years or older.
Consumers should also be aware of misleading military charities that employ similar names and outreach practices as trusted nonprofits, such as email, direct mail, telephone, and text. These military organizations use emotionally appealing terms to fill fundraising movements such as “warriors,” “heroes,” and “disabled people.”
2019, FTC shutdown The American Veterans Foundation has raised nearly $ 6.5 million from donors. The Foundation said it provided care packages and other assistance to military and homeless veterans with donations. Instead, the Foundation used 92% of the funds raised for telemarketing and administration.
“If you donate to a charity that represents military personnel, check Give.org to make sure that the organization meets the BBB’s charity standards, especially before and after Memorial Day. Unsatisfied lawyers often call to help veterans, military personnel, or their families, but most of the donated money does not serve that purpose. “
Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB (Serving Western Virginia)
The BBB typically warns of the following scams targeting service members:
- Expensive military lending – Loan ads that promise no guarantee, immediate approval, or credit check often involve hidden fees and very high interest rates. Please note that a legitimate lender will never guarantee a loan before you apply.
- Veterans Benefits Buyout Plan – This acquisition plan offers cash payments in exchange for future benefits or pension payments for disabled veterans. The amount of cash is only about 30-40% of the amount that veterans are eligible to receive. These acquisition plans can be configured in several different ways and should be thoroughly investigated before signing.
- Fake rental property – Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives. Service members are required to pay by wire transfer for security payments or accommodation keys. Ultimately, service members receive nothing.
- Misleading car sales – Websites with classified ads offer false discounts to military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicles immediately after being deployed. A prepaid fee by wire transfer is required. Otherwise, you will have problems with your car after purchase.
- Expensive life insurance – Military members are often subject to aggressive marketing that offers unnecessary and expensive life insurance. Lawyers may make false statements about the benefits these policies offer.
To avoid these scams, BBB provides the following tips:
- Do your research – Get as much information as possible about your business or charity before making a payment or donation. A good starting point for a search is to check the business’s BBB business profile to see if the BBB has a report on that charity.
- Don’t send money to strangers – Wire transfers are virtually impossible to track. Payments and donations should be made by credit card whenever possible. It will be easier to challenge your claim.
- Protect your computer – Do not click the link in the junk email. Do not enter your personal information on unfamiliar websites. Make sure you have the latest antivirus software installed and always use a firewall.
- Place active alerts in credit reports during deployment – This minimizes the risk of identity theft, as creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until they have confirmed their identities.
Before making a charitable donation:
- Get the exact name of a charity – False identities are a common problem because there are so many charities.
- Avoid tearing appeal – Making high-pressure decisions is not a wise choice. You can always ask questions about the organization and whether to donate.
- Check the basics on the website – Charity missions, programs, and finances need to be easily accessible on their website. If not, check the report at: Give.org..
- Check if the charity meets the BBB charity criteria – Check the report on the BBB Wise Giving Alliance website.
- Check with state officials. In most states, you need to register your donation with a charity. Attorney General’s office Or Secretary of State..
The BBB states that military members often face unique difficulties in returning to civilian life and returning to the workforce. Organizations are advised to start with the following trusted organizations as a way to avoid fraud:
- BBB Military and Veterans Consumer Information – – BBB Military and Veterans Consumer Information Provides free consumer education and financial literacy resources to military families and veterans.
- U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) – – VA.govThe official US Department of Veterans Affairs website is a hub for resources on all aspects that may affect the transition to private life. Information on education benefits, pensions and life insurance can all be found on the official website of the Veterans Association.
- Veterans Employment Service Office (VESO) – – VESO It provides resources for career opportunities within the Department of Veterans Affairs and supports the transition from active life to private life.
- U.S. military aid – Like VA, USA Military Assistance guides you through different areas. If you are working, you can also find military tax guidance and free credit monitoring at: usa.gov / Military Assistance..
- Veterans Health Administration – VA extension, Veterans Health Administration A medical system for veterans. The government will also provide resources to veterans during the COVID-19 crisis.
Before the anniversary, BBB warns of fake charity scams targeting veterans
Source link Before the anniversary, BBB warns of fake charity scams targeting veterans