How to Recognize and Avoid Scams Targeted to Military Families
Soldiers, sailors and airmen are an appealing target for scammers for several reasons. Many servicemembers are young and making major financial decisions for the first time. They receive a steady paycheck, plus reenlistment bonuses and deployment pay.
In addition, military families move frequently and do not know which sellers to avoid. Scam artists know that military personnel are required to keep their finances in good shape and may be more likely to pay a fake debt to keep their finances in good standing.
You can take steps to protect yourself and your finances:
Be wary of sellers or “investment professionals” that use their connection to the military to make a sale. This could be a fraud in disguise.
Protect yourself from identity theft by changing your mailing address when you are restationed.
Contact the credit reporting agencies to place an active duty alert on your accounts. This limits the ability of ID thieves to apply for credit while a servicemember is deployed.
Know your rights. The Servicemember Civil Relief Act extends consumer rights to service personnel; there is added protection from default judgments as well as the ability to cancel contracts and leases.