BBB says watch out for Memorial Day scams

Senior man using mobile phone while holding credit card.

MILWAUKEE — The Better Business Bureau is warning about the Memorial Day scam.

According to the BBB, these scammers use a patriotic or military approach when contacting service members for money.

The BBB warns of the following scams:

High-priced military loans : Advertisements for loans that guarantee instant approval or no credit check will often come with hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. Remember that legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply, and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.

Veterans’ benefits buyout plans : These plans offer cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran’s future benefits or pension payments. The cash amount is only about 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to. Buyout plans are structured in different ways, so research thoroughly before signing.

Expensive life insurance policies : Members of the military are often the targets of high-pressured sales pitches that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors may make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer.

Tips to avoid these scams :

  • Do your research :  Get as much information as you can about a business or charity before you pay. A good start to your search would be to check out a business’ BBB Business Profile (BBB.org).
  • Don’t wire transfer money to anyone you don’t know : Money sent via wire transfer is practically impossible to track. Pay by credit card whenever possible, so you can dispute charges more easily.
  • Put an active duty alert on your credit reports when deployed : Doing so will minimize the risk of identity theft because creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until verifying identity.

For More Information

You can also find some excellent tips at BBB.org/AvoidScamsBBB Military Line provides free resources, such as financial literacy information, and complaint and dispute resolution for all branches of the U.S. military.

If you’ve been the victim of a military scam, use your experience to help others avoid falling prey by reporting it at the BBB.org/ScamTracker.
For an online version click here.

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