During National Military Consumer Protection Month, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued tips for service members, veterans, and their families to avoid top scams. These scams can harm personal finances, damage credit, or threaten security clearances.
“Our service members, veterans, and their families sacrifice a great deal to protect and serve our country, and we want to make sure they have the information necessary to avoid harmful scams,” said Cameron. “During Military Consumer Protection Month, we’re highlighting top scams that service members may encounter, and we are sharing tips to avoid the financial losses associated with fraud.”
Top Scams and Tips:
1. Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses the identity or personal information of another to open an account, enter into a lease or loan, obtain services, file taxes, apply for government benefits, or break the law.
Follow these tips to avoid identity theft scams:
• Beware of phone calls, texts, QR codes, or phishing emails that impersonate a business or government agency and ask for your personal information.
• Consider making social media accounts private, and limit friends to known individuals to minimize the ability of scammers to steal your images and learn personal details about your life.
2. Home Rental Scams
Home rental scams usually involve scammers impersonating real estate agents or property owners. In these schemes, the scammer alters a property listing made by a legitimate agency or owner by listing it as a rental home on a social media or classified advertisement platform under their name and contact information. Once an individual expresses interest in the property, the scammer often claims he or she cannot provide a walkthrough and asks the consumer to make a security deposit before viewing the rental. Scammers typically request payment through an online platform or peer-to-peer payment applications.
Follow these tips to avoid home rental scams:
• Visit the property before paying a security deposit or signing a lease. If a rental isn’t available for an in-person walkthrough, don’t rent the property.
• Watch out for odd payment requests. Avoid dealing with companies or individuals who require payment through wired funds, gift cards, online payment platforms.
• Work with reputable companies. Visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to review information regarding a company’s reputation.
3. Impersonation Scams
In these schemes, scammers impersonate companies or agencies by spoofing legitimate email addresses and asking for account passwords or bank account information.
Follow these tips to avoid impersonation scams:
• Avoid sharing personal information like account passwords or banking information in an email or with an unsolicited caller.
• Verify the identity of the person you are communicating with.