Free Resources Identify Top Scams Facing Idaho’s Military Community and Ways to Fight Back
Idaho’s 132,000 military veterans and active-duty service members are at risk of being targeted by scammers. Today, AARP launched the AARP Veterans Fraud Center, a new online education and resource center to help protect veterans, service members and their families against fraud.
According to an AARP survey, one in three military/veteran adults reported losing money to scams that are specifically trying to take advantage of the trust they have in the military community. Veterans, active-duty service members and their families are 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population. These individuals lost more than $267 million in 2021, up from $102 million in 2020 (a 162% increase), according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Top scams aimed at veterans include:
- Benefit Buyouts: Turning over U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension and/or disability benefits for a supposed lump-sum payment that never materializes (47%).
- Fraudulent records scam: Paying for updated personal military records (32%).
- The fake charitable giving request: Donating to fake veteran charities (32%).
Free resources in the AARP Veterans Fraud Center include:
- A new AARP Watchdog Alert Handbook: Veterans’ Edition, highlighting tips to detect the most common ways con artists target veterans and military families;
- Operation Protect Veterans—a joint program of the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Some top tips AARP’s Fraud Watch Network recommends include: signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry and using a call-blocking service; using strong and unique passwords for each online account; using two-factor authentication when available; and placing a free security freeze on credit reports at each of the three major credit bureaus. Also, veterans never have to pay for their service records or earned benefits—if told otherwise, it’s a scam.
To learn more about the AARP Veterans Fraud Center and to download a free copy of the new Watchdog Alert Handbook: Veterans’ Edition, visit www.aarp.org/vetsfraudcenter. For additional resources and information on AARP’s support for veterans and military families, including caregiving, competing in today’s job market, and connecting with earned service benefits, visit www.aarp.org/veterans.