Military spouses and veterans report highest losses from job scams – CBS Atlanta
ATLANTA, Ga (CW69 News at 10) – According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), military spouses and veterans are often the hardest hit by job scams.
Susan Thompson, Henry County resident and retired military wife, responded to an email regarding an administrative assistant job. It seemed lucrative, until they asked him for his bank account information over the phone, claiming that it was necessary to set up direct deposit. Fortunately, she didn’t provide it, but thousands do, not realizing they’ve been scammed until the crooks steal their hard-earned dollars. Thompson says she’s received countless other calls and texts that sounded too good to be true. “Don’t trust strangers who offer you money that seems easy, it’s fast. If it’s a person or has a name, search for it on Google. See if it’s even a real person, ”she said.
The BBB cautions never to provide personal information over the phone. They have published the press release below with links to information on how to avoid scams.
A recent BBB report shed light on those most affected by job scams: the military, military spouses and veterans. Service members, military spouses and veterans all reported higher odds of losing money and higher median losses to scammers, according to the Risk Report 2020 BBB Scam Tracker.
Posted by the BBB Institute for Market Confidence (BBB Institute), the study analyzes scams reported to BBB scam tracker, highlighting the latest fraud risks facing consumers. Veterans reported a median loss of $ 133, military spouses reported a median loss of $ 132, and active duty members reported a median loss of $ 269 – all higher than the median loss of $ 115 reported for all consumers in 2020.
The reported probability of loss for all consumers was 46.4% in 2020. Veterans reported a slightly higher probability of loss at 46.8%. Military families reported the highest odds of loss at 50.8% for military spouses and 59.7% for military members.
The main reason the victims engaged with the scammer was the ability to work from home – an essential need of those balancing family obligations and unpredictable moves. Flexibility was also mentioned as one of the main reasons for engaging in these opportunities.
The study showed that prevention and intervention methods could reduce the likelihood of financial loss. Those who had heard of employment scams and tactics prior to the meeting were significantly less likely to lose money, reinforcing the need for continued awareness of these risky scams.
When soldiers return to civilian life and re-enter the workforce, they face unique challenges. Some veterans find it difficult to apply for education benefits, navigate disability claims, or find employment. Finding reliable sources is the best way to avoid scams.
BBB recommends starting with these organizations:
- Information for military and veteran BBB consumers. Information for military and veteran BBB consumers provide free consumer education and financial literacy resources for military families and veterans.
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA.gov, the official website of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, is a hub for documents on all aspects that may impact the transition to civilian life. Information on education benefits, pensions and life insurance can all be found on the official Veterans Affairs Canada website.
- Veterans Employment Services Office (VESO). VESO provides resources for career opportunities within the Department of Veterans Affairs, assisting in the transition from active service to civilian life.
- United States military assistance. Like the VA, USA Military Assistance provides advice in a wide variety of areas. For those on active duty, military tax advice and free credit monitoring can also be found at usa.gov/Military-Assistance.
- Veterans Health Administration. An extension of the VA, the Veterans Health Administration is a health care system specifically for veterans. The administration is also providing resources to veterans during the COVID-19 crisis.
For tips on how to avoid employment scams, visit BBB.org/jobscams. To report a scam, go to BBB.org/ScamTracker. For more information on the BBB Military and Veterans Initiative and consumer resources, visit BBB.org/Military.