WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Lawmakers are cracking down on scams against veterans and senior citizens.
In a recent study released by the American Association of Retired Persons (A.A.R.P) veterans are the prime targets of scamming due to their steady government benefits.
Some schemes include calls from crooks posing as V.A. officials asking for social security numbers and other personal information.
Others offer veterans large amounts of cash in exchange for veterans signing over their disability benefits.
Heartache and headache is how Bob Grinder describes his experience.
“You feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut and there’s nothing that you can do about it,” said Grinder.
It’s an ongoing problem for many veterans in the state.
Bob Grinder served in the military and is a lifetime member of the American Legion. Recently, he fell victim to a credit card scam.
“I received a notification on my credit card that I was being charged with something else,” said Grinder. “We ended up fighting the scammer with our Credit Card and after it finally settled, we received our money back.”
Unlike Grinder, there are countless seniors and veterans who don’t always know how to fight back which caught the eye of Attorney General, Josh Stein.
“It creates fear in the person and when people are afraid, they’re judgment,” said Stein.
Stein also said that tracking down scammers can be tough.
“A lot of times it’s difficult to get the scammers because they don’t live in the United States,” said Stein. “Technology makes it so cheap for criminals to call from abroad into the United States.”
It’s an easy reason for Grinder to step up to help other veterans and seniors.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to contact somebody,” said Grinder.
Agencies are taking steps to protect veterans. The AARP partnered with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The goal of the partnership is to bring awareness about scams targeting veterans.