It is shameful, but an AARP survey from last year “found that one in three active-duty military members and Veterans have lost money to at least one fake service-related offer.” That is why AARP recently launched a Veterans Fraud Center, an online education and resource hub to help protect service members, veterans and their families.
Veteran Fraud Prevention Website
The free site, https://campaigns.aarp.org/vets-fraud-center/, offers free information on the latest scams targeting the military community, tips for spotting other types of consumer fraud, and specially tailored resources to help protect Veterans and military families. According to the VA and AARP the resources include:
- The new AARP “Watchdog Alert Handbook: Veterans Edition,” highlighting tips for detecting the most common ways con artists target Veterans and military families.
- The AARP Fraud Watch Network and Scam-Tracking Map.
- Operation Protect Veterans, a joint program of the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
- AARP’s The Perfect Scam podcast, which profiles America’s biggest scams each week, including those targeting Veterans, and AARP’s free Fraud Watch Helpline, at 877-908-3360.
The VA reports that in 2021 “the number of fraud attacks against the military community jumped 69 percent compared to the previous year. Of those 110,827 reports of fraud (26 percent) resulted in financial losses, which totaled $267 million. Individual victims within the military community reported losing more money than their civilian counterparts, with a median loss of $600, compared to $500 for civilians.”