WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Since January 2021, veterans, active-duty service members and their families in Texas have reported more than $80,000 of losses to various scams.
That number is just a fraction of the more than $566 million members of the military community have lost across the nation since 2017.
“It tells a story that our military community is vulnerable and they are susceptible to fraud, their families and vets are no different.” Jason Meza, Regional Director with the Better Business Bureau, said.
The BBB says military members and their spouses are more susceptible to fall for scams. The likelihood of loss reported across all consumers was 46.4% in 2020. Veterans reported a slightly higher likelihood of loss at 46.8%. Military families reported the highest likelihoods of loss at 50.8% for military spouses and 59.7% for service members.
“They see a steady paycheck, scammers see a little bit more of a profile on these members,” Meza said.
“The past three years, we have seen it grow. The pandemic only augmented what we saw already because a lot of folks are doing exchanging online, a little more trusting of technology.”
Some of the common scams that target our service members include posing as the VA, high-priced military loans, fake rental properties, misleading car sales, and romance scams.
Right here in Central Texas, there’s a list of scams reported to the BBB.
“The good name of the service is used against our families saying we want to honor your good service some discounts, rebates,” Meza said.
“Then you end up getting your ID lost.”
If you are contacted, Meza says play defense and do your research.
He says one of the biggest red flags is if you are contacted and it came unsolicited.
“We just don’t take enough time to read what’s in our contracts so doing that will help us get a clear picture of what we are getting into.”
Meza says if you do believe a scammer has contacted you, report it and tell others about it to help stop others from falling victim and help with investigations.
The BBB has more information about how to report scams and information about what scams are happening in our region.
You can also read more about their military initiative.
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