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Scammers Are Using Coronavirus to Target Military Veterans

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Saluting the Service of America's Veterans and Military.mp4

Financial scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic to target veterans with fake charities and with the promise of free testing, says Steve Carter, a senior advisor in AARP’s Office of Community Engagement and co-leader of the association’s Veterans, Military and Their Families initiative.

In some instances, veterans have received calls from scammers promising free coronavirus testing, asking for Social Security numbers and other personal and financial information.

“Obviously, you don’t need to provide that information to get a test, nor should you be getting a test from somebody who is calling you,” Carter said on a recent AARP Wisconsin Facebook Live. He noted that Tricare and the Department of Veterans Affairs are already offering free coronavirus testing to veterans.

Carter also described scams in which con artists pose as representatives of fake charities, asking for donations to support front-line workers and medical professionals dealing with the outbreak. He says these schemes are evolving by the day.

“I just heard of one today where scam artists are posing as a four-star general in a romance scam. They are reaching out to women saying, ‘Hey, I’m a general serving overseas in Syria,’” he said, cautioning that these scammers are seeking out personal information to facilitate identity theft.

During Carter’s conversation with Amber Miller, associate state director for community outreach at AARP Wisconsin, Miller warned that veterans and civilians alike need to be on the lookout for scams that seem “too good to be true.”

Watch the rest of Carter’s and Miller’s discussion above and on AARP Wisconsin’s Facebook page.

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