FBI Tech Thursday: Scams Targeting Veterans
As we recognize Veterans Day this week, FBI Phoenix wants to educate the public and our veterans about scams that may target them.
According to an AARP survey, veterans are twice as likely to fall victim to fraudsters. Veterans tend to be more trusting of those they believe to be fellow members of the military, making them particularly vulnerable to impostor fraud and other types of scams.
Here are some common scams for veterans:
- Loan Scams – A bad actor offers to refinance your Department of Veterans Affairs loan at an extremely low rate.
- Impostor Scams – A government agency impostor contacts you to “update your file” to maintain veteran benefits, therefore gaining personal and financial information.
- Pension Poaching Scams – The fraudster offers veterans lump sum payments up-front, in exchange for signing over their future monthly benefit checks.
Here are some tips to protect yourself or the veteran in your life:
- Never click on links or open attachments in e-mails, text messages, or social media posts from unknown senders.
- If someone contacts you about increasing or changing benefits, hang up and look for the official contact information for that agency. Call that agency directly at the publicly posted number to confirm any changes or opportunities.
- Never give out personal information. That includes your date of birth, Social Security number, military identifiers, banking or financial account information, or health information.
If you believe you or someone you know has been victimized by an online scam or cyber fraud, the FBI asks you report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov, or call your local FBI office.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP created a joint venture called Operation Protect Veterans. For more information, visit: https://www.uspis.gov/veterans#veteran_scams.
For more on the AARP survey, visit: https://press.aarp.org/2021-11-9-AARP-Survey-Veterans-More-Likely-to-Lose-Money-to-Scams-Than-Civilians.