Copyright 2014

BBB reminds Service Members of targeted scams

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - While the nation is preparing to salute service members for their courage and sacrifice, scammers are looking for ways to take advantage of them as well as their family members.
Elizabeth Garcia with the Better Business Bureau talks to Steve Johnson about scams specifically targeting service members.

The High Priced Military Loans Scam - advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval or no credit check will often come with hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. Remember that legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.

The Veterans` Benefits Buyout Plans Scam - this buyout plan will offer a cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran`s future benefits or pension payments. The cash amount is only about 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to. These buyout plans can be structured in several different ways, so research thoroughly before signing anything over.

The Fake Rental Properties Scam - stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives. Service members will have to pay a fee via wire transfer for security payments or a key to the property - in the end they will receive nothing.

The Phony Jury Duty Summons Scam - a caller claims to work for the local court system and states that the service member did not show up for jury duty and now has a warrant out for their arrest. When the victim says they never got a summons, the caller will ask for a credit card number or Social Security number to clear up the matter.

The Misleading Car Sales Scam - websites posting classified ads will offer false discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicle fast since they have been deployed. Upfront fees will be required via wire transfer, or the vehicle will have problems after purchase.

The Expensive Life Insurance Policies Scam - members of the military are often the targets of high pressured sales tactics that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors may make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer.

Call the BBB Military Line, the military arm of the Better Business Bureau. It provides free resources, such as financial literacy information, access to BBB services and scam alerts, and complaint and dispute resolution for all branches of the US military.