INDIANAPOLIS — While it may be difficult to imagine swindling the men and women who’ve served our country, watchdog groups say it’s happening more than ever.
Several scams specifically targeting veterans are causing concerns for security experts and problems for victims around the country. While some scams are straightforward schemes run by crooks, there are other “borderline” campaigns underway.
By now, most Americans have seen ads about Camp Lejeune, and legal action for health problems resulting from contaminated water on the base. Several military groups call the ads misleading.
Congress actually passed a law to make it possible for veterans and families at Camp Lejeune to sue for compensation. However, the law didn’t put any cap on legal fees attorneys can charge. Some advocates warn that veterans could end up paying more in legal fees than they win in any legal settlement.
“Veterans need to make sure they’re well informed before they make any decisions about getting involved with these lawsuits, because it could actually cost them money,” said Shane Liermann, deputy national legislative director for Disabled American Veterans.
More straightforward scams targeting veterans in 2023 are outlined by Aura:
- Investment and military pension fraud
- Charging for military records that are actually free
- Offers of “free” government funding or loans that don’t exist
- Posing as veteran-friendly employers and asking for personal information from job seekers
- Listing a fake property for sale with a special military discount, asking for a deposit, and taking off with the money
- Phishing scams from fake government agencies designed to collect personal and financial information
Imposter and romance scams also continue to be a problem. Did you know that most victims of romance scams are between the ages of 50 and 69?
As hackers and scam artists continue to get better at tricking victims and using stolen information, cybersecurity experts urge caution when interacting with anyone offering deals online or over the phone.