ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — According to the Better Business Bureau, con artists will target many of the nation’s more than 19 million veterans on Veterans Day to steal their money and identity.
“The scams themselves are pretty much the same. They’re the phishing scams, imposter scams, deception scams,” said Dennis Horton, director of the BBB’s Rockford office.
While Veterans Day is meant to thank those who served the country, scammers use the day to their advantage. Horton warns there are some tricks to look out for:
“The difference is that the scammers are now, because its Veterans Day, put a veterans-oriented twist on it. ‘We’re here to help you as a veteran. Our way of saying thank you for your service’, when in fact they’re after two things. Their information and their money,” Horton said.
According to Horton, the scams can come in the form of an email, phone call, or even as text message. He advises veterans to be wary of anyone soliciting money from them.
“One thing that scammers and scams have in common is there’s always a sense of urgency that is being placed there,” he said. “Any charity that needs the money today will need the money tomorrow and a legitimate charity will wait.”
Horton also said the local VA will never call to request personal information, such as a social security number.
“One of the things that we find most often is that the scammer will use a very similar-sounding name. Instead of it being VFW, it will be War and Veterans of Foreign Wars, instead of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Sounds the same, and if you’re not paying attention, you may think, ‘oh this is legitimate,’” he warned.