Beware scammers using patriotism to target the military and people supporting the troops


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Memorial Day is a time to honor all those who died in the service of this country; but scammers have no honor, and they will use your patriotism and good intentions to cheat you.

We live in an area with a very extensive military presence, so those kinds of scams are more prevalent here than elsewhere.

Some of the scams are aimed at military personal and others are aimed at people who want to do the right thing to help those who spend their time defending our freedom.

For those in the service watch out for:

  • Scammers posing as V-A officials. They will contact you asking you to update your credit card, bank or other records—setting you up for identity theft.
  • Unscrupulous individuals who charge service members for military records that can be obtained for free.
  • Fake investment schemes that ask military members to put their assets into an irrevocable trust.
    (They’ll keep the money,and you won’t collect.)
  • People offering so-called “guaranteed military loans” at very high interest rates that require upfront fees. (Real lenders don’t guarantee a loan up front.)

And then there are the scammers who use “helping the military” as a way to fleece you.

Watch out for:

  • Scammers posing as a soldier about to be deployed who has to sell a vehicle fast. (A lot of times that vehicle is stolen.)
  • Individuals selling big ticket items (like security systems) to the families of deployed service personnel, claiming the deployed spouse ordered it to protect the family.
  • Scammers impersonating a veteran or military member to solicit donations.

One quick way to check whether a charity is legit is to ask how much of your donation goes to the organization’s cause. If the person tells you it’s 100 percent of the donation, it’s likely to be a scam; even the best charities have overhead and administrative costs.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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