Four hundred thousand veterans of New Jersey will benefit from a national initiative to protect them against scammers, fraud and abuse. In September 2017, in partnership with the US Postal Inspection Service and the US Post Office, AARP launched a national initiative “ Operation Protect Veterans.” This initiative will leverage the partner’s huge reach, communications capabilities, and credibility to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of financial fraud, and warn family members of the dire consequences of being scammed. To share and learn more about how you can help protect military veterans, go to www.aarp.org/protectveterans or call 1.855.800.9023.
Your call can help protect a veteran who has served our country and state so admirably from scams such as:
- Unscrupulous investment advisers - who erroneously claim veterans may be able to take advantage of additional government benefits by overhauling their investment holdings.
- Update your military file scam – callers who claim to be from the Department of Veteran Affairs and ask to “update” your information, but really are hoping to get personal information to be used to steal your identity.
- Charity Scam – callers who claim to be raising money for disabled veterans. But often, the so-called charity is not registered with the government or uses the money to raise more funds and pay their salaries.
Unfortunately, New Jerseyans know all too well the prevalence of financial scamming; as we shared in last quarter’s NJ Outreach eNewsletter, according to Consumer Sentinel Network December 2016, the New Jersey metropolitan area ranked 75 th in metropolitan areas for number of victims of financial scams. For this and other reasons so far this year, AARP NJ’s fraud prevention work included:
- AARP NJ Fraud Fighters calling over eleven hundred members to warn them of scams.
- Hosting six free community shred events that shredded approximately 35,000 lbs. of old sensitive documents.
- The NJ Speakers Bureau delivering over twenty-five speeches on fraud prevention to an estimated 750 individuals.
To learn and share more about how AARP New Jersey commits to, and continues to, play a key role in the fight to protect veterans and all New Jerseyans from scams; go to the AARP Fraud Watch Network or AARP New Jersey. There you will learn how we are spreading the word, educating the community on prevention strategies, collecting and leveraging stories of veteran scam attempts, and when we host events such as free sensitive document shredding opportunities. We will also continue to work with our local partners such as the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and the US Postal Inspection Service on this initiative to help families and veterans know more about, and participate in, AARP’s veterans’ fraud prevention initiatives.
Tune in to www.aarp.org/protectveterans on Veteran’s Day 2017 when AARP and its partners will kick-off phase two of this education and outreach effort.