Before the anniversary, BBB warns of fake charity scams against veterans

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Roanoke, Virginia (WFXR) – As Memorial Day approaches, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which oversees West Virginia, is warning of fake charities that often deceive people who serve or serve the country. ..

Active service members lost more than $ 190,000 to scammers nationwide in 2020, according to a report by BBB Scam Tracker. Veterans across the country were hit even harder, with more than $ 270,000 lost to fraudulent trades. In addition, 49% of the victims of fraud were 55 years or older.

Consumers should also be aware of misleading military charities that use similar names and contact practices to trusted nonprofits such as email, direct mail, phone, and text. These military organizations use emotionally appealing terms to fill fundraising movements like “warriors”, “heroes” and “disabled people”.

2019 FTC shutdown The American Veterans Foundation raised nearly $ 6.5 million from donors. The foundation said it provided military packages and other aid to military and homeless veterans with donations. Instead, the foundation used 92% of the funds raised for telemarketing and administration.

“If you’re donating to a charity that represents military personnel, check Give.org to make sure the organization meets BBB charity standards, especially before and after Memorial Day. Dissatisfied attorneys often call to help veterans, military personnel, or their families, but most of the money donated is not for that purpose. “

Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB (Serving Western Virginia)

The BBB usually warns of the following scams aimed at service members:

  • Expensive military loans – Loan advertisements that promise no guarantee, immediate approval or credit checks often come with hidden fees and very high interest rates. Please note that a legitimate lender will never guarantee a loan before you apply.
  • Veterans Benefits Buyout Plan – This acquisition plan offers cash payments in exchange for future benefits or retirement payments for disabled veterans. The amount of money is only around 30-40% of what veterans can get. These acquisition plans can be configured in a number of ways and should be studied carefully before signing.
  • Counterfeit rental property – Stolen photos from legitimate rental properties are used in ads promising military discounts and other incentives. Service members must pay for security payments or property keys via wire transfer. Ultimately, service members don’t get anything.
  • Misleading auto sales Classified ads websites offer false discounts to military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who must sell their vehicles immediately after they are deployed. A prepaid wire transfer fee is required. Otherwise, you will have problems with your car after your purchase.
  • Expensive life insurance – Military personnel are often exposed to aggressive marketing that offers unnecessary and expensive life insurance. Lawyers can make false statements about the benefits of these guidelines.

To avoid these scams, BBB offers the following tips:

  • Research – Get as much information as possible about your business or charity before making a payment or donation. A good place to start a search is to check the company’s BBB business profile to see if the BBB has a report on that charity.
  • Do not send money to strangers – Transfers are practically impossible to track. Payments and donations should be made by credit card whenever possible. It will be easier to dispute your claim.
  • Protect your computer – Do not click the link in the junk email. Do not enter your personal information on unknown websites. Make sure you have the latest antivirus software installed and always use a firewall.
  • Place active alerts on credit reports during deployment – This minimizes the risk of identity theft as creditors and corporations cannot make or extend loans until they have verified their identities.

Before making a charity donation:

  • Get the exact name of a charity – False identities are a common problem because there are so many charities.
  • Avoid tearing attraction – Making high-pressure decisions is not a wise choice. You can always ask questions about the organization and whether you want to donate.
  • Check the basics on the website – Charity missions, programs and finances must be easily accessible on their website. If not, check out the report at: Give.org ..
  • Verify that the charity meets the BBB charity criteria – Check the report on the BBB Wise Giving Alliance website.
  • Check with state officials. Most states require you to register your donation with a charity. Public Prosecutor’s Office or State Secretary ..

The BBB states that military personnel often face unique difficulties getting back into civilian life and getting back into work. Organizations are recommended to start with the following trusted organizations to avoid fraud:

  • Consumer information from BBB Military and Veterans – – BBB Military and Veterans Consumer Information Provides military families and veterans with free consumer education and financial literacy resources.
  • US Veterans Affairs (VA) – – VA.gov The official website of the US Department of Veterans Affairs is a hub for resources on all aspects that can affect the transition to personal life. For information on education, pensions, and life insurance, see the Veterans Association official website.
  • Veterans Employment Service Office (VESO) – – VESO It provides resources for career opportunities within the Department of Veterans Affairs and supports the transition from active to private life.
  • US military aid – Like VA, US military aid guides you through different areas. If you work, you can also find military tax advice and free credit monitoring at usa.gov/Military Assistance ..
  • Veterans Health Administration – VA Extension, Veterans Health Administration A medical system for veterans. The government will also provide resources to veterans during the COVID-19 crisis.

Before the anniversary, BBB warns of fake charity scams against veterans

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