Veterans’ Day is a day where a lot of businesses and schools take off to honor those who have served in the military. Because of this, you would think that everyone would take the day to respect what military personnel has done for us and celebrate the veterans that fought so bravely for us. However, there is a group of people that take this holiday for granted and use it to make a quick buck. This group of people is called scammers, and they use any holiday they can to make a quick buck off of people. There are many Veterans’ Day Scams that veterans need to be aware of while celebrating this holiday.
Veterans’ Day Scams to Watch Out For
Charging For Military Benefits Scam
Scammers call their victims and tell them that they qualify for additional secret veterans’ benefits. These benefits include paying cash upfront for future disability or pension payments, being able to see your service records or government forms, being able to supposedly boost your pensions, and being able to qualify for secret government programs. These reasons are only excuses for scammers to get a hold of your personal and financial information and are not real. With this information, scammers can commit identity theft and steal all your money.
Loan and Investments Scam
Scammers call veterans and claim that they can transfer their investments into trusts. They also claim that you can receive a loan with no credit check and instant approval. Again, this is another excuse as to how they are trying to steal personal and financial information. Once you give them the requested information or money, they will hang up on you and pretend to be you while applying for credit cards and other benefits. They will also steal every penny out of your bank account.
Veterans’ Day Sale Scam
Scammers call victims and create fake websites with phishing emails that offer veterans too-good-to-be-true deals on cars, electronics, and other products. They ask the veterans to provide them with their personal information and financial information, and sometimes even ask for wire payments and gift cards to pay for the product. Once they get the money and personal information of the veteran, they shut the website down and never give them the product.
Tricare COVID-19 Testing Scam
Scammers call veterans up and pretend to be representatives of Tricare. They claim to be selling COVID-19 tests to veterans and ask them if they would like to purchase one. They make it sound like its urgent and to hurry and buy one before they are sold out. This makes the victim nervous that they may never get their hands on a COVID-19 test, so they purchase the kit thinking they need it. Once the victim provides the scammer with their personal and financial information, the scammer commits identity theft and steals the victim’s money with no COVID-19 test in return.
Military Charities Scam
Scammers pretend to be part of a military-based charity and call or email their veterans up for fake donations. They ask the victims for their personal and financial information, and once they get it they hang up on the victim. They then take the victims’ personal information and pretend to be them as they apply for credit cards, request money at their banks, and apply for benefits.
Fake Rental Ads
Scammers post fake rental advertisements online, claiming to have outstanding deals for military personnel and veterans. The too-good-to-be-true deals lure victims in, and the scammers instruct them to wire money for a down payment. Once the victim wires the scammer money, the scammer blocks them and they never get their rental that they paid for.
Update Credit Card Scam
Scammers call their victims and claim that they need to update the veterans’ credit card information on file with the Veterans Administration. They ask veterans for their personal and financial information, then use it to commit identity fraud and also to drain your bank account.
How to Avoid Veterans’ Day Scams
- Don’t give anyone your personal information online or over the phone. This could lead to scammers using your information to commit identity fraud.
- Don’t give out your financial information to anyone over the phone or online, and be cautious when shopping online.
- If someone is saying to pay them over the phone for something, do not give them your financial information.
- Do not wire money or give anyone a gift card for any reason, especially online. These are the two forms of payment scammers love so that you can’t get your money back.
- Don’t use mobile payment apps such as Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp to make a purchase.
- Make sure the website is official and has a secure checkout for credit card information before making the purchase.
- Hang up the phone immediately if you get a sales pitch or charity call of any sort. Usually, sales pitches and charity organizations that call you randomly are not actually who they say they are. Most of the time, these callers are scammers looking to steal the money out of your bank account.
- Do research on the company and charity you’re about to purchase from, and make sure you are on their official website. Make sure there are no misspellings in the URL, and read official reviews on the website before giving the website any money. Also, make sure your purchases are secure and traceable on your credit card.
- Don’t click on any random links you receive via a phishing email. These links can download malware onto your device which steals information stored on it. They also contain forms for you to enter your personal information on them, which could lead to scammers committing identity fraud with this entered information.
- Report any of these scams to the FTC. All you need to do is report what happened to them online, and they can provide you with some next steps on how to protect yourself. This information could also help law enforcement improve on how they handle these types of scams and stop them more efficiently.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of Veterans’ Day scams.