Memorial Day is dedicated to remember the brave men and women who died while serving their country. On a lighter note, it grants a day off during the workweek for most of us, and while we take that extra day to commemorate those who have fallen, there are a few things we at Scambook want you to pay special attention to this Memorial Day.
Phishing for Cash
We all remember what phishing is right? Phishing occurs when someone is trying to obtain financial or other personal information through email. A phishing scam to look out for this Memorial Day is an email from someone posing as soldier who has acquired a large sum of money while overseas and want to offer a percentage to those who can help invest it for them. The “soldier” will claim to possess an obscene amount of money like $10 million and urge his/her victim to help him invest it or deposit it into a bank account.
VA and Military Personnel Imposters
More than 40% of the 23 million veterans in the U.S. are senior citizens, and according to Scambook’s Market Report for Q1 2012, 35.7% of consumers are senior citizens, which can mean thousands of those consumers are veterans. While many are honoring the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, some will take advantage of this time and pose as representatives of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and contact veterans saying they need to update banking or financial information for their records. If you have any feeling of doubt with VA organizations that come across you, refer to The Center for Elder Veterans Rights.
Have you ever been approached by someone in uniform asking you if you’re interested in joining the military? Other scam artists to beware of are those posing as military recruiters. Recruiters will usually hand out their business card or just ask for your phone number, but if they seem to be too aggressive and push you to fill out an application on the spot, then they are most likely gunning to find out as much of your personal information as possible to claim your identity or access banking information.
Finding Love During War
With the lack of any physical and emotional contact with anyone back home, it can be a lonely life for soldiers deported overseas. With the popularity of online dating and ease of Internet access, military impostors target people back in the states through Internet dating sites and build romantic relationships with them, promising marriage once they return from duty. What they hope to gain from online dating site victims is cash to pay for their leave. A Scambook user reported, “A scammer apparently took the ID, account information and photos from a deceased U.S. soldier. He asked me for $5,000 to replace himself in the U.S. Army while he comes to America to plan a marriage with me.” Unfortunately, paying for leave is impossible, and if it were, thousands of soldiers would be comfortably at home with their families.
Have you encountered any military or veteran related scams? Let Scambook know below or submit a complaint here.
As always, Scambook urges everyone to protect their private information such as bank account, driver license and social security numbers. If you have any doubts whatsoever, do not give any personal information to any suspicious person or organization, especially through the phone and Internet.