Need Help? Call the Senate Aging Committee’s Toll Free Fraud Hotline: 1-855-303-9470
Washington, D.C.—Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor the sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans and their families. Yet, there are scam artists who target these men and women as potential victims and who try to capitalize on patriotism to rob all Americans of their hard-earned money.
As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), have made fighting fraud against older Americans a top priority.
This Veterans Day, they are warning the public of various scams that specifically target veterans. Some of these schemes include benefit scams, imposter scams, or charity scams that use the word “veteran” to try and trick unsuspecting donors into giving money to fraudsters.
“Veterans Day is a day to honor and thank those who served in our nation’s armed forces” said Senator Collins. “Despite our deep gratitude for their service and sacrifice, the unfortunate reality is there are criminals and scammers who will always exploit others to make a quick buck. We must keep working to ensure the public is aware of these scams, which can either target our nation’s heroes or prey on those who want to support them.”
“On Veterans Day, and every day, it is important that we honor the extraordinary sacrifice of those who put their life on the line to serve, defend and protect our country and fellow citizens,” Senator Casey said. “It is our duty to ensure that our veterans, their families and caregivers do not become victims to scam artists who seek to defraud them of their hard-earned benefits. I will continue working to stop unscrupulous people who try to profit in the name of patriotism.”
Charity scams that target people’s sense of giving and patriotism are particularly prevalent around Veterans Day. Criminals posing as charitable organizations and claiming to benefit veterans and their families will often use the word “veteran” to try and trick unsuspecting Americans.
Donors who want to give money to a legitimate veteran’s organization this Veterans Day should make sure to look into the charity and make a direct payment rather than making a payment through a wire transfer or gift cards.
Benefit scams, or pension advances, will try to charge veterans who are seeking to claim benefits they rightfully earned through the Veterans Administration (VA). Advisers, who are approved by the VA to help veterans file a pension or other claims, are never allowed to charge for their services. In addition, imposter scams involve someone claiming to be from the VA seeking personal information. If you are contacted by someone, either by phone or email, claiming to represent the VA and requesting payment for services or wanting to confirm your personal information, disregard the solicitation and contact the VA directly for assistance.
Other scams can involve phony sales or rentals on the Internet offering veterans or military discounts. Always be suspicious of anyone requesting upfront payments via wire transfer or gift cards.
Americans who suspect fraud can contact experienced investigators at the Senate Aging Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline. If you have questions or believe you are the victim of a scam, call 1-855-303-9470.