On Memorial Day, we honor the brave men and women who have tragically lost their lives while performing military duties and serving our country. However, scammers use this holiday to victimize military veterans and other innocent people. To keep yourself protected from Memorial Day 2021 scams, we will share how scammers use this holiday to scam people, the types of Memorial Day scams, and how to avoid these types of scams. So, if you want to honor and mourn for those who have died for our country while staying safe from scammers, keep reading!
Types of Memorial Day Scams
Fake Rental Homes
While holidays like Memorial Day are supposed to be celebrated, scammers take advantage of the season to fool more people. One way they do this during Memorial Day is by posting fake rental properties. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), these scammers will steal images of legitimate rental properties. Then, they will post ads that offer military discounts and other attractive incentives.
However, the catch is that you would have to do a wire transfer as a security payment. If you happen to pay them, you will never get the property and will just lose your hard-earned money.
High-Interest Military Loans
One of the most common Memorial Day scams is offering high-interest military loans. These scammers will advertise loans that provide instant approval without any credit investigation. However, there are hidden fees, and the interest rates are unreasonably high. Some scammers will also ask you to settle an up-front payment first, which is not what a legitimate lender would do.
Fake Car Sales
Another way that scammers use Memorial Day to make money is through fake car sales. Scammers will post advertisements offering fake discounts for soldiers. Alternatively, they will pretend to be military personnel who have to sell their cars fast for deployment reasons. The scam is that they will require you to make payments upfront through wire transfer. Once you pay, it’s either you encounter issues with the car, or you will never get the vehicle.
Fake Buyout Plans
In this type of scam, you will receive a cash payment offer at the expense of a disabled veteran’s future pension or benefits. According to the BBB, the cash offer is only around 30% to 40% of what veterans are eligible to get. As these buyout plans can be structured in various ways, you need to do your research before agreeing to anything or signing an agreement.
Scam artists also use Memorial Day to fool military members (and just about anyone). They will copy the names of renowned veterans’ charities to convince you to donate. Then, they will make fake websites, making them look exactly the same as the real charities. If you want to donate to these charities, make sure you verify their authenticity by doing your research.
Fake Veterans Administration Calls
Other scammers will call you saying that they need to verify your personal data so you can keep receiving your benefits as a veteran. They will attempt to get your Social Security number, birth date, and even bank account details. Note that these calls are not from the Veterans Administration. They’re not calling you to update your personal data but to steal it and get your money.
Costly Life Insurance Policies
Memorial Day 2021 scams also include high-priced life insurance policies. These scammers will offer unsolicited and costly life insurance policies. Then, they will pressure you into getting these insurance policies while making false statements about their benefits. If someone messages you on social media and starts talking about these expensive life insurance policies, stay vigilant and block the account.
How To Avoid Memorial Day Scams
To help you focus on honoring the people who have died for the country and keep yourself from being a victim of these Memorial Day scams, perform the following:
- Do not send money to individuals you don’t know. Remember that scammers will often ask you to do a wire transfer because it’s hard to trace, and they can easily get the money using a fake ID.
- Keep your computer protected. This includes installing antivirus software and not clicking on links from unexpected emails as they may have malware.
- Conduct research. If you plan to get a loan or donate to a charity, make sure to do thorough research before sending any amount. Visit the BBB site to know what people are saying about the business. Or, read charity reports before trusting a specific organization.
- Do not share any personal or financial data. Scammers like to pretend they’re from the Veterans Administration and attempt to get your personal information to commit identity theft.
- If you think you’ve been a victim of identity fraud, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Prevent Memorial Day Scams With Social Catfish
Memorial Day is supposed to be a day of honoring and respecting those who died serving the country. However, scammers never take a break and choose to perform various Memorial Day 2021 scams, like high-priced military loans and fake rental properties. If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, go to Social Catfish and carry out a reverse search to reveal their identity. You can also report any suspected scam to the FTC.