BBB: Beware of Veteran's Day scams

Posted at 9:51 AM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 11:51:41-05
As Veteran's Day approaches this Friday, November 11, Better Business Bureau warns scammers are looking to take advantage of veterans and those seeking to help them.
BBB's Emily Valla says one of the more common scams includes people posing as the Veterans Administration and contacting veterans to say they need to update their credit card, bank or other financial records with the VA.
"Before giving any personal information, verify to whom you are speaking and always consider hanging up and initiating contact directly via a verified phone number," Valla said.
Valla also recommends watching out for schemes that charge veterans for services they could get for free or less expensively elsewhere, such as military records. Before you pay, do your research.
"Con artists may label something as a “military discount” to try to lure in service members. This could happen with loans, as sketchy lenders promise “instant approvals” and no credit checks, but loans often carry extremely high interest rates and hidden fees. There are plenty of legitimate military discounts out there, but be wary of high pressure sales tactics and products and services you don’t need," Valla said.
And for people who may want to donate to charities this Veteran's Day, BBB says watch out for charities that sound similar to more well-known ones.
"Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs in its appeals and on its website. If the charity says its helping veterans, does it explain how and where it is doing so? Also, be wary of excessive pressure in fundraising. Don’t be pressured to make an immediate on-the-spot donation, in person or by phone. Charities should welcome your gift whenever you want to send it," Valla said.
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