Charity scams. Stealing from older Americans. Taking advantage of hard-working people. Just when you thought fraudsters couldn’t sink any lower, they do. In today’s episode a con man took money from veterans who prepaid their own funerals to ease the financial and emotional burdens on their families.
But instead of easing the burden, these grieving families were hit at the most vulnerable time emotionally, finding out there were non-existent death benefits for families – but huge profits that lined the pockets of the scammer.
Our military veterans are prime targets of criminals. We see con men calling retired veterans pretending to be old friends, offering “sure thing” investments. AARP found that one in three victims of investment fraud are veterans. And just when you thought fraudsters couldn’t sink any lower, they do. A con man found a new way to steal their money – he scammed veterans who prepaid their own funerals.
Now it’s time for each of us to stand up on behalf of veterans. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is launching a campaign to protect veterans from scams. We want people like you to watch for suspicious solicitations that target military veterans. You don’t need to have absolute proof that an offer is fraud to report it. If you see something suspicious, email the info to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As with any business transaction, do your due diligence before you sign any contract. Get references. Check with the BBB. Ask questions. It’s your money. Know what you’re paying for.