FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – October 8, 2019 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – Military Consumer Month focused on imposter scams, as the Federal Trade Commission reported, “Last year, imposter scams once again topped the list of frauds that military consumers reported to the FTC.”
From September 15 through October 15, during Hispanic Heritage Month #HHM, we focus on celebrating Hispanic culture in America. Debt.com takes this opportunity to bring attention to Hispanic Americans in the Military to protect their identities and avoid scams that continue to plague military personnel.
Raising awareness of financial literacy as part of the #HHM celebration
Abigail Kelly, a Pentagram Staff Writer writes, Hispanic Heritage Month reminds the Army of the benefits from diversity. Hispanics have been serving in the U.S. Army since the Civil War. From the Spanish-American War through both world wars, Korea, and Vietnam, the Soldiers with Hispanic heritage have served the U.S. honorably even in the face of negative stereotypes and doubts about their abilities to serve in combat. But there’s an ongoing war the Military is fighting every day in a different battlefield. It’s the war against identity theft and impostor scams, some of which are listed below:
- Rental Property Scams
- DFAS/MyPay Phishing Scams
- Payday Loans
- Loan and Credit Card Scams
- Insurance Scams
- Car Sale Scams
- Romance Scams
- Emergency/ Grandparent Scams
- Fake military charities
- Phony debt collectors
- Credit monitoring scams
Source: Military OneSource
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is encouraging the financial and military media to focus on imposter scams, which it says totaled more than 36,000 complaints and cost each of its victims around $900.
Debt.com answers questions about the military and money
When Debt.com Chairman Howard Dvorkin, CPA drilled down on the FTC’s numbers, he found something interesting: Military personnel lose almost twice as much as everyone else to imposter scams. The FTC said in 2018, all consumers “reported a median loss of $500” to imposter scams much less than the median loss of $900 for military personnel. So why is the military suffering more than the citizens it protects?
“Crooks go where the money is, and the military’s benefits draw them like moths to a flame,” Dvorkin says. “Remember, if you get called or emailed by someone demanding your personal information, be wary. No governmental agency threatens you with dire consequences if you don’t surrender personal details over the phone.”
In answering a Debt.com reader question about the military and money, Dvorkin cautioned about imposter scams: “Just like any other arms race, these bad guys keep developing sophisticated weapons. So, every time we shut them down, they keep popping back up, like cockroaches.”
Once those crooks acquire enough personal information to steal your identity, they can steal your money. Dvorkin concludes, “When it comes to military ID theft, remember: Don’t ever give out your name, rank, and serial number. Offer to call back those agencies at their number.”
Debt.com helps military personnel get out of debt and stay there
Dvorkin advises military personnel to read the report, Making Debt Consolidation Simple for Service Members and Veterans. The site also provides options for debt relief for service members and veterans, as well as military loan forgiveness for student loans.
Read also “Military and Money: What Do I Need to Know?”
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