Keep veterans and their families safe from scams

Veteran’s Day is observed every Nov. 11, but it’s also a primetime for scammers to prey on veterans and their families. Your Better Business Bureau can help keep those who served safe, as we honor them.

When celebrating this Veteran’s Day, your BBB says veterans and their families should heed this advice:

• Watch out for people posing as the Veterans Administration. They’ll claim to be updating financial information.

• Don’t give out personal information, such as your bank account, social security number or other personal information.

• Avoid clicking on links in e-mails or text messages from unfamiliar people or organizations.

• Never allow strangers into your house. Avoid anyone using high-pressure tactics to get you to buy something or give up information. A legitimate company won’t do business this way.

• Look for someone charging you for services you could get for free or less elsewhere.

• Beware of fraudulent investment schemes trying to convince you to transfer assets.

• Watch for people trying to sell security systems to protect families, while service military members are away.

• Check out people posing as government contractors. Many times these scammers recruit veterans and ask them for copies of their passports, which contain a lot of personal information.

• Look out for people offering instant approval military loan (“no credit check, “all ranks approved) that can have high interest rates and hidden fees.

• Beware of people trying to sell stolen or nonexistent items at low prices, such as a vehicle, claiming they’re being deployed and need to get rid of it fast.

• Be wary of people misrepresenting themselves on online dating services. Many times, the scammer will ask for money to be wired to help out in an emergency.

• Check out questionable charities claiming they’re raising money on behalf of military organizations.

• Remember, if it sounds too-good-to-be true, it most likely is.

Your BBB advises if you receive an unsolicited phone call or e-mail from anyone asking for personal information, report it to the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftc.gov or by calling (877) 382-4357.

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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

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