Scammers take advantage of military members on Memorial Day

5:05 PM, May 26, 2012   |    comments
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CLEARWATER, Fla. - It's a weekend when military members should be remembered and honored, but scam artists are taking advantage of the holiday weekend to prey on those who served our nation.

"The unique lifestyle of military members make them a prime target for scammers," says John Zajac with the Better Business Bureau of West Florida.

He says scam artists will often act as members of the Veterans Administration and call military members to get them to update personal information, including credit card and bank info, to steal money and an identity.

If you get this kind of phone call, don't give them your information, but take down theirs and look into it.

"Contact the VA directly and see if they're contacting you for any reason," says Zajac.

There are several other scams to watch out for, anything from military discounts on cars or houses to posing on online dating services as a lonely service member.

"Use your best common sense. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is," says Zajac.

If you're not in the military, but would like to donate to a charity that helps military members in need, check out www.give.org  first. It allows you to see if the group you're giving money to meets BBB charity standards.

"It's tough to see there are scam artists that take advantage of unsuspecting victims out there. And so the best way to handle this is if you're questioning something, look into it," says Zajac.

Military members can go to the Better Business Bureau website and find all kinds of information about these businesses, including the number of complaints against them. Get more information here: www.bbb.org/us/military-line

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