“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting our Veterans from scammers who continuously prey upon them for their own illicit gains,” said Guy Cottrell, chief postal inspector. “We will continue in our fraud prevention efforts to inform Veterans about scam artists who fraudulently utilize advances in technology and tailor their pitches towards them.”
The Postal Inspection Service and AARP are warning all Americans who have served in the military to look out for the following Veteran-tailored scams:
- The benefits buyout offer: Scammers take advantage of Veterans in need by offering a quick upfront buyout, usually at a fraction of the value, of future disability or pension payments.
- The fake charitable giving request: Scammers make fraudulent claims about charitable giving that benefits Veterans or wounded service members.
- Fraudulent records offer: Scammers try to charge Veterans a fee to access military records or government forms, information that is actually available for free through the National Archives (for military records) and VA.gov or local VA offices (for forms)
- The VA phishing scam: Scammers posing as VA employees call Veterans to “phish” for Social Security numbers and personal financial information, which they use to access bank accounts and/or open fake credit card accounts.
- The bogus employment scam: Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a Veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.
These scammers are a devious, diabolical enemy. They know which heart strings to pull in order to get what they want, which is always the same thing: your money, or your personal information. Veterans, and all Americans, should be suspicious of any phone call or email requesting you send or transfer money or asking for personal information of any kind (e.g., Social Security number, address, etc.).
Don’t give it to them. Research and verify all offers and claims. And if they persist or make financial threats, just remember: in the battle against this kind of criminal, the surest tactic for victory may be to simply hang up or press “delete.”
If you or a loved one has encountered a financial scam in the last 12 months, please help us keep fighting for our Veterans by calling our office, (760) 642-7072.