Rockford BBB: Scammers Are Targeting Rockford Area Veterans
It's bad enough learning that the men and women who most deserve our respect are being targeted by scam artists. It's worse knowing that this sort of thing is drawing attention on Veterans Day.
But, as we've pointed out before, the pieces of human debris who fill their pockets at the expense of their victims don't really care about those who served (or their families).
The Goal Of The Scams Is To Gain Access To Veteran's Government Benefits
Dennis Horton is the director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and he told us that “Scammers target ex-service members in many different ways; they use vet-oriented twists on identity theft, phishing scams, impostor scams, and investment and loan deceptions. It's all about getting access to the benefits the government provides to the veteran’s accounts." Benefits that these men and women risked their lives for.
The Problem Is That There's Not Just One Scam They're Pulling On Vets--There Are Several
The attempts at hijacking a veteran's governmental benefits comes in a variety of forms, according to the Rockford BBB. I don't have the space to list them all, but here are a few methods that scammers are using to lay their hands on a vet's hard-earned benefits:
- Veterans get a call and are told they qualify for money from “secret” government programs but must first pay a fee or provide personal information.
- Scammers exploit veterans in financial need by offering them cash upfront in exchange for what they say will be a higher future disability or pension payment; all at a cost.
- Con artists attempt to charge veterans for access to their military records or government forms. All of those are free from the local VA office.
- In a phishing scam, they will impersonate someone from the Veterans Administration and ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers, saying they need to update the veteran’s records.
- Acting as rental agents fake classified ads for rental properties are placed with discounts for veterans and their families. Targets are instructed to wire money for a security deposit for what turns out to be a nonexistent property; or properties currently occupied by the owners.
If you're a veteran, or are lucky enough to have one in your life, pass this information along to those it may help.
And, on this Veterans Day 2021, thank you for your service.