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AARP Veterans Fraud Center

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 12:15 PM CDT
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The following information was provided by AARP:

May is national Military Appreciation Month. And AARP recently launched the AARP Veterans Fraud Center, a new online education and resource center to help protect veterans, service members and their families against fraud. These crimes that target veterans and their families at an ever-increasing rate.

How big is the problem?

· According to an AARP survey, one in three military/veteran adults reported losing money to scams.

· Veterans, active-duty service members and their families are 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population.

· Veterans and military families lost more than $267 million in 2021, up from $102 million in 2020 (a 162% increase), according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The most common scams:

· Benefit Buyouts: Turning over U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension and/or disability benefits for a supposed lump-sum payment that never materializes (47%).

· Fraudulent records scam: Demanding payment for updated personal military records (32%).

· The fake charitable giving request: Donating to fake veteran charities (32%).

Free resources in the AARP Veterans Fraud Center include:

· A new AARP Watchdog Alert Handbook: Veterans’ Edition, highlighting tips to detect the most common ways con artists target veterans and military families;

· The AARP Fraud Watch Network and Scam-Tracking Map; and

· Operation Protect Veterans—a joint program of the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

For more information on staying safe from fraud and scams, visit aarp.org/fraud. The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free service to people of all ages from AARP.

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