As we honor those who have served our country on Veterans Day, scammers go to great lengths to steal from them. Many criminals will pretend to be former military members in order to ingratiate themselves, knowing that veterans trust fellow veterans. Read on for how to spot and avoid those who seek to steal from you.
How it works:
- Employment offers for veterans: Special offers for those who have served.
- Cash for benefits: Cash up front in exchange for future disability or pension payments.
- Donations for veterans: Raising money for fake charities under the guise of helping active-duty military or veteran causes.
- Rental discounts: Special prices on rental properties just for active-duty military and veterans.
What you should know:
- Job postings looking for you to supply sensitive personal information or pay something up front are outright scams.
- Offers for cash in exchange for future disability or pension payments are typically worth only a fraction of the value of the benefit.
- Sham charities line their pockets with millions raised under false pretenses, often using names similar to well-known and trusted charities.
- Any rental offer that you can’t see before renting or that seeks a nontraditional payment method up front — cash, wire transfer, payment app or gift card — is likely fraudulent.
What You Should Do
- Walk away from any job opportunity that seeks sensitive information as part of the application process, as well as if you are told to pay a fee up front.
- Only work with VA-accredited representatives when dealing with VA benefits. You can search for them online at the VA Office of General Counsel website.
- Check out charities through websites such as give.org or charitynavigator.org before donating to a cause.
- You should always be able to see a home or apartment before you rent it — if you are told otherwise, disengage. The same goes for the payment method — disengage if the form of payment is not typical.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.
Knowledge gives you power over scams. The AARP Fraud Watch Network equips you with reliable, up-to-date insights and connects you to our free fraud helpline so you can better protect yourself and loved ones. We also advocate at the state, federal and local levels to enact policy changes that protect consumers and enforce laws.
P.S. Are you active on social media? Do you enjoy sharing information that can help friends and family to spot and avoid scams? Become a volunteer AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) Digital Fraud Fighter! Interested? Send us a note at FWN@aarp.org for more information.