Military warned about new slew of scams


You would think our military would get an exemption from scamsters. But the crooks don’t discriminate and will gladly try to take the brave men and women who protect our freedoms abroad. Here’s a quick hitlist of some of the top rip-offs aimed at members of our military:

7 ways our military gets ripped off

• ‘Instant approval’ military loans — they often offer ‘no credit check’ or promise ‘all ranks approved’ — that can have high interest rates and hidden fees

• Bogus online offers for housing that lure service members with military discounts but then make off with their security deposits

• Bogus emails that purport to be from the Veterans Administration but actually are attempts by scammers to install malware on computers or get bank or other financial information of service members.

• Companies that charge service members fees for services they could get more cheaply or even free, like military service records.

• Investment schemes that convince veterans to transfer their assets into irrevocable trusts

• Job offers from bogus government contractors who require a copy of applicants’ passports

• High-pressure sales pitches of security systems that target deployed service members’ families

3 free sources for reputable help

Service members can dodge some of the traps scammers lay for them by taking advantage of free, reputable resources.

Just a few:


• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs offers links to free personal finance help, legal assistance and benefits

While you’re there, check the agency’s blog for updates on issues that affect military families’ finances, like mortgage assistance for military members and education rip-offs that waste military members’ benefits.)

• The BBB’s Military Line provides scam alerts free financial services resources for military members.

•The nonprofit FINRA Foundation offers personal finance advice tailored to the military at

While you’re there, check out the site’s helpful fraud center.

Source: Better Business Bureau/The Plain Dealer

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