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BBB Warns of Scams Targeting Members of the Military this Memorial Day

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BBB Warns of Scams Targeting Members of the Military this Memorial Day

As Memorial Day approaches, a time to commemorate the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and mark the unofficial start of summer, Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges members of the military community to be wary of potential scams targeting them during this period.

“Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have lost their lives for our country. Unfortunately, scammers use this time of year to take advantage of veterans and their families in various schemes,” said Robyn Householder, President & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. “We encourage everyone to be on alert when purchasing items or donating.”

There are four scams that are typical around this time of year.

High-priced military loans – Advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval, or no credit check often come with hidden fees and extremely high-interest rates.

Fake rental properties – Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives.

Misleading car sales – Websites posting classified ads will offer false discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who must sell their vehicles fast since deployment.

Fake military charities- scammers often adopt similar names and outreach practices as trusted nonprofits such as email, direct mail, phone calls, and texts.  Emotionally appealing words such as “warriors,” “heroes,” and “disabled are commonly used in these scams.

Tips to avoid scams:

Never wire transfer money to anyone you don’t know –  Money sent via wire transfer is practically impossible to track. Pay or donate by credit card whenever possible since you can dispute charges more easily.

Protect your computer – Don’t click on the links within unsolicited emails. Don’t enter personal information on unfamiliar websites. Make sure that you have updated anti-virus software installed and use a firewall at all times.

Put an Active Duty alert on your credit reports when deployed – Doing so will minimize the risk of identity theft because creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until verifying identity.

Do your research – Get as much information as possible about a business or charity before paying or donating. A good start to your search would be to check out a business’ BBB Business Profile and/or see if the BBB has a report on the charity.

Find out if the charity meets BBB Charity Standards. Check for a report on BBB’s Give.org, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance website.

Always report suspected fraud to the BBB by filing a complaint using BBB.org/Scamtracker.

Feel free to contact BBB serving Middle TN and Southern KY, info@gobbb.org or 615-242-4222.