EUGENE, Ore. -- In Oregon servicemembers, veterans and their spouses have reported more than 80 scams with an estimated $22,000 lost last year, according to BBB Scam Tracker.
Among those, tax collection scams were the number one scam reported for military consumers in Oregon, followed by phishing scams.
Other common scams that target the military and their family include:
Imposter scams: These scams include the romance scam and grandparent scam. In the romance scam, scammers pose as real military members on social media and try to gain your trust and your cash. In the grandparent scam, imposters call the families of service members claiming the grandparent needs to wire money to cover their grandchild’s injury overseas.
Charity scams: Many scam artists use similar names of well-known veterans’ charities and can easily create websites and accounts similar to credible charities.
Too good to be true deals: Watch out for too good to be true loans offered to members of the military or veterans such as "no credit checks" or "all ranks approved." These can have high interest rates and hidden fees. Similarly, scammers will advertise housing with military discounts and incentives. Service members will pay a fee via wire transfer for a security deposit or a key to the property – in the end; they will receive nothing.
To avoid these scams, remember to always do your research -- get as much information as you can about a business or charity before you pay. A good start to your search would be to check out a business’ BBB Business Review.
Also, never wire transfer money to someone you don’t know. It’s nearly impossible toyou’re your money back once it is sent. It’s wise to pay with a credit card in case you need to dispute the transaction.
For more resources for military consumers, visit the BBB Military Line.