Scamming people for personal information and financial gain is nothing new. But one group of Americans are increasingly falling prey to these cons: U.S. veterans and their families.
In an appearance on the syndicated talk show Dr. Phil, AARP fraud expert Doug Shadel shares information about scams that are targeting the nation’s veterans. He also gives tips on how to avoid being scammed. “Unfortunately, our veterans have become primary targets for the con man,” Shadel says. Veterans are susceptible to "all the same kinds of scam approaches that you and I get — IRS, tech support and so forth," he notes. "We've identified 12 other scams that specifically target vets just because they are veterans." These scams include con artists contacting veterans and promising them things like access to military records or special benefits programs in exchange for money or personal information.
AARP has teamed up with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to launch Operation Protect Veterans to bring public awareness to scams that target veterans. The two organizations also published the AARP Watchdog Alert Handbook, Veterans Edition, which provides information on how to identify and avoid scams aimed at veterans and their families.