COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – On the heels of Veterans Day, I want to share some important new research with you so you can share it with your friends and family. AARP found that veterans are much more likely to fall for scams than civilians. Similar results were found from a study a few years ago. The experts say the most important thing is to educate our community and share the warning signs that service members can watch for.
“What people need to realize is those who are vulnerable, at a vulnerable place in their lives, are more likely to be scammed,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. “When you’re leaving active service, that’s a major transition, a transition when you may be looking for new educational opportunities, or you might be moving, or you might be subject to any number of scams that will prey on either your hopes or your fears, which means we need to do better to support our veterans as they leave active service and enter civilian life.”
AARP said four out of five military members or veterans were targeted by scams related to their service or the benefits they receive. One in three who were targeted by a scam, ended up losing money.
Many of the common themes include housing-related scams, romance scams, employment scams and benefits-related scams.
“If you’re leaving active service, you have accrued some pensions, you may get people calling you, pretending to help you with your pension,” Weiser said. “What they’re actually doing, is trying to harm you. What you need to know is when someone calls you and says, ‘Oh I’m a financial professional, I want to help you.’ Do your homework. If someone tries to pressure you and says, ‘Act now, or you’ll lose these benefits’, don’t take the bait. So we need smart and well-prepared professionals to work with our veterans.