The BBB says these scams come in many forms. First they say look out for firms that target veterans and charge them for products and services they can receive free or at lower cost elsewhere, such as military records and forms.
Next they say be cautious of scammers who contact veterans saying that they need to update their credit card information or other records with the Veterans Administration. They say the scammers then use the information to commit identity theft.
They also say look out for fake charities with names that reference the Armed Forces and want donations.
The BBB says you should hang up the phone on people calling themselves veteran advocates who try to convince veterans that they can get more benefits by transferring their investments into an irrevocable trust, which often contains unsuitable investments.
They say you should also look out for offers of very promising Military Loans. Their examples are, "up to 40 percent off your monthly take home pay, "guaranteed loans," "instant approval," "no credit check," and "all ranks approved." They say these offers often come with sky-high interest rates and hidden fees designed to trick borrowers out of cash and damage their financial security.
When it comes to housing they say watch out for ads promising military discounts and too-good-to-be-true incentives using stolen pictures of legitimate rental properties to trick renters out of security deposits via money transfer schemes.
For cars they say watch out for low-priced vehicles posted on classified ad websites that tout discounts for military personnel, or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell fast because they've been deployed. They say schemers convince buyers to wire money.
For younger veterans they say watch out for Veterans for Hire scams. They say scammers pose online as representatives of government contracting firms. When veterans contact them for a job they ask for a copy of the veteran's passport before they can officially offer them a job. There is no job to offer however and the con artist now has personal information that can be used for identity theft.
Here's what the BBB says people can do to avoid these scams.
They say to protect your finances never wire transfer money to strangers.
They say check companies and charities only at www.bbb.org to make sure they are legit.
To protect your computer they say avoid visiting unfamiliar sites or opening emails from unknown senders. You should also install a firewall and updated anti-virus software.
Also for those of us at home they say if you get a call or mail from a veteran's organization make sure you do your homework. They say a legitimate charity will allow you enough time to check them out.
They also say to remember that federal agencies do not contact veterans via email or text, and if they do call someone they do not request personal information. Veterans who receive suspicious correspondence can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-877-222-8387.
The BBB also offers the BBB Military Line. It provides free resources to military communities in the areas of financial literacy and consumer protection. Http://www.bbb.org/us/Military/