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Better Business Bureau warns of military scams this Memorial Day

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MILWAUKEE, WI (CBS 58) — This Memorial Day weekend, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is warning people to be aware of scammers.   The BBB says at this time of year, scammer like to target service men and women with a variety of cons.

Three things the BBB says to look out for are:  high-priced military loans, veteran’s benefits buyout plans and expensive life insurance policies.

Advertisements for loans that guarantee instant approval or no credit check will often come with hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. The BBB says that legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply, and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.

Veteran’s benefit buyout plans offer cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran’s future benefits or pension payments. The cash amount is only about 30- to 40-percent of what the veteran is entitled to.  Buyout plans are structured in different ways, so research thoroughly before signing.

Members of the military are often the targets of high-pressured sales pitches for unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors may make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer.

To avoid these scams the BBB recommends three things: 

Do your research.   Get as much information as you can about a business or charity before you pay. 

Don’t wire transfer money to anyone you don’t know.   Money sent via wire transfer is practically impossible to track. Pay by credit card whenever possible, so you can dispute charges more easily.  

Put an active duty alert on your credit reports when deployed.  Doing so will minimize the risk of identity theft because creditors and businesses cannot issue or grant credit until verifying identity.

The BBB has more advised on avoiding scams at BBB.org/AvoidScams.    The BBB Military Line provides free resources and complaint and dispute resolution for all branches of the U.S. military.

If you’ve been the victim of a military scam report it at the BBB.org/ScamTracker.

You can read the full article on BBB.org for more details.





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