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Better Business Bureau warns about military scams

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The military arm of the Better Business Bureau, BBB Military Line, reminded of possible scams targeting the active and retired military personnel and elderly veterans before the Memorial Day.

Karen Nalven, President of BBB of West Florida, said scammer who take advantage of the military, often wrap their scams in patriotic themes designed to play on Americans' debt of gratitude to veterans.

"We can never give veterans and active soldiers enough thanks for their service," she said. "Unfortunately, scammers also take advantage of soldiers who are being deployed."

BBB Military Line tries to help by providing free resources and access to BBB services and ascam alerts. It also gives access to complaint and dispute information in all US military brunches.

BBB warns of the following scams:

High priced military loans - Advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval or no credit check.

Veterans' benefits buyout plans - This buyout plan will offer a cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran's future benefits or pension payments.

Fake rental properties - Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives.

Phony jury duty summons - A caller clams to work for the local court system and states that the service member did not show up for jury duty and now has a warrant out for their arrest. When the victim says they never got a summons, the caller will ask for a credit card number or Social Security number to clear up the matter.

Misleading car sales – Websites posting classified ads will offer false discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicle fast since they have been deployed.

Expensive life insurance policies – Members of the military are often the targets of high pressured sales pitches that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies.

To avoid becoming a victim, BBB recommends to do a research before any financial transaction, protect computers and not wire money to strangers. It also suggests putting an active duty alert on credit reports while deployed.

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