Veterans more likely to be scam victims
Military veterans are a prime target for telephone scams and even more likely to end up as fraud victims than the general public, according to a new survey released by AARP.
The survey indicates that veterans can be victimized twice as often as the rest of the public. The research indicates that about 16 percent of U.S. veterans have lost money to fraudsters, compared with 8 percent of others during the past five years.
“What makes them more vulnerable is technology and patriotism,” said Doug Shadel, lead researcher for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.
Con artists will tell you, he said, that the best way to scam a vet is to pretend to be a vet. In general, veterans may be more willing to trust someone who claims to have served in the military than those who have not. And they may ask fewer questions about giving money to a charity that claims to support service members and veterans.
November is National Veterans and Military Families Month and a good time to remind vets that a call that seemingly comes out of the blue isn’t really a fluke at all. An amazing amount of infor mation is available on databases and via social media that can help con artists accurately target veterans.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service an nounced the launch of Operation Protect Veterans — a national campaign to warn the military about scams. Operation Protect Veterans will use ads, email messages, social media and a new website to get the word out.