Tips to avoid scams directed toward veterans

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- The state is warning veterans to be aware of scams aimed at them.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, an AARP sutdy found veterans are more likely to be targeted by scammers and twice as likely to fall victim to fraud when compared to people who have not served.

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The Attorney General says his office has received more than 20 scam complaints from veterans in 18 counties including, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton, Madison and Ohio counties.

Some of these scammers pretend to be veterans or military personnel in order to steal from people who have truly fought for their country.

The state says imposter scams are the number one type of scam reported across the U.S. and in Kentucky in 2018 and so far this year.



“The top veteran-specific imposter scams the Attorney General is warning Kentuckians about include:

Charitable Donation Imposters
Scam: Con artists lie and claim to be veterans or service members collecting charitable donations to support other veterans and veteran causes.

Tip: Verify charities before making donations and never send cash, wire money, pay in gift cards or use other untraceable methods of payment. Donors who are not familiar with a charitable organization can verify official organizations on CharityNavigator.org.

 

U.S. Soldier Impersonation

Scam: When a scammer pretends to be a U.S. soldier and claims they need financial help or are looking to sell goods or services for a cheap price. The con artist may even go as far as opening up fake social media accounts and using stolen names and photos of real U.S. soldiers.

 

Tip: Soldiers should search social media sites to see if scammers are using their information. Soldiers should also conduct a Google image search of their social media profile pictures and, if necessary, follow online U.S. Army tips on how to report and stop fake profiles.

 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Imposters
Scam: A call, email or social media communication from someone claiming to be an employee of the VA. The scammer may pretend they need to update military records or offer special programs, services or discounts.

Tip: If you did not initiate contact with the VA and suddenly receive a call, email or text from someone saying they are a VA employee, it is most likely a scam. Independently verify and contact the actual VA and never provide personal, medical or financial information to an un-trusted caller.”

You can report scams to the Attorney General’s office by filing an online consumer complaint. The AG’s Office has a website dedicated to protections for military personnel, which includes a Consumer Protection Guide for Military Service Members. The FTC provides comprehensive information to protect veterans from identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov.

You can also use the FTC’s new Free Electronic Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Rule, which implements a 2018 law that requires nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide free electronic credit monitoring services for active duty military consumers.

Veterans can also sign up to receive Scam Alerts from the Attorney General’s Office by visiting ag.ky.gov or texting the words KYOAG SCAM to GOV311 (468311).

The AG’s office also has a website dedicated to protecting veterans from scams.