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Protecting Military and Veterans from Memorial Day Scams

You are currently viewing Protecting Military and Veterans from Memorial Day Scams
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Georgia is home to nearly 60,000 active-duty service members and close to 700,000 veterans. Although Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have died in service, it unfortunately also becomes a prime time for scammers to target these groups.

According to the 2024 BBB Risk Report, active-duty military personnel reported significantly higher financial losses from scams in 2022 compared to military spouses and veterans. Active-duty members lost an average of $491, while military spouses lost $249, and veterans lost $200. The report highlights that the susceptibility of active-duty military members to scams (52.8%) was notably higher—by about 29.1%—than the general population’s susceptibility (40.9%). Furthermore, the median loss for active-duty military was $491, a stark 201% increase over the general population’s median loss of $163.

The report advises military members to be cautious of several specific scams: high-interest loans, veterans benefit buyout programs, fake rental property offers, misleading car sales, and overpriced life insurance policies.

Scammers often exploit Memorial Day by posing as representatives of military or veteran charities, using high-pressure tactics to solicit donations. Taelore Hicks, a spokesperson for Metro Atlanta’s BBB, warns, “Legitimate charities do not use high-pressure tactics. If someone is demanding your money immediately, it’s a red flag, and you should walk away.” Hicks also recommends asking callers for their mission statement and details on how donations will be used.

For those unsure about a charity’s legitimacy, Charity Navigator is a valuable resource. It allows users to review a charity’s ratings, financials, and compare administrative and advertising costs to the percentage spent on actual programs.

By staying vigilant and utilizing resources like the BBB and Charity Navigator, military members and veterans can better protect themselves from scams and ensure their donations go to genuine causes.

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