Better Business Bureau Warns Service Members to Be On Guard
Anchorage, Alaska — May 19, 2016 — On Saturday the country will celebrate Armed Forces Day by coming together and thanking military members for their service. This is a time to honor service members for their sacrifice and show them our support. Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest is an advocate for these men and women and would like to remind them that they are often easy targets for scammers.
Here are some of the most common ploys con artists will try:
- Fake Rental Listings. This online scam offers fake rental listings with huge military discounts in order to lure in service members and their families. Military families often have to move quickly and don’t always have the proper time to vet a new location. To avoid falling for this trick it’s best to avoid wiring money. Instead pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charges easily. If looking for a home long distance, check online to make sure it really exists and that it’s not a for-sale listing hijacked by scammers.
- Quick Loans. Google and Facebook may have decided to block payday loan advertisements, but that won’t stop these businesses from trying to entice service members. These loans offer instant approval, but often come with hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. Remember, legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply. Also, any lender who requires an upfront fee is likely trying to scam you.
- Fundraising Scams. Suspicious charities that claim to be raising money for veterans or military families often see service members as easy targets. They know they are more inclined to donate to these types of groups. To make sure the charity is legitimate, look them up on give.org or charitynavigator.org.
Anyone who has fallen victim to these or other scams are encouraged to report their experience to Better Business Bureau at 907-562-0704 or at www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us.