Veter­ans more likely to be scam vic­tims

Boston Herald - - THE SCENE - By SU­SAN TOMPOR

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.

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