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Fraud fighters

Inspectors launch effort to protect veterans

Veteran saluting the flag
The Postal Inspection Service is highlighting efforts to protect veterans during this year’s National Consumer Protection Week.

The Postal Inspection Service wants to help protect veterans from scammers.

Together with the AARP Fraud Watch Network, the Inspection Service recently launched Operation Protect Veterans, a national campaign to warn former and active service members about scams. 

“Scam artists specifically target vets by using false claims of military service brotherhood,” said Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell. “Patriotism among vets can be a powerful window into their hearts and wallets. We are working hard to inform Postal Service employees about scam artists who tailor their pitches toward former and active service members.”

Approximately 16 percent of U.S. vet­erans have lost money to fraudsters, compared to 8 percent of nonveterans, according to a new study by the National Opinion Research Center, a research organization at the University of Chicago.

The Inspection Service is warning military veterans to be wary of the following:

  • Benefits deals that offer quick upfront buyouts of disability or pension payments
  • Charities that claim to give funds to veterans or wounded service members
  • Offers that charge veterans to access military records or govern­ment forms
  • Scammers who claim to work for the Veterans Administration and call veterans to ask for their personal financial information

Operation Protect Veterans is part of National Consumer Protection Week, an annual campaign to help consumers guard themselves against fraud. This year’s campaign runs from Sunday, March 4-Saturday, March 10.

The Postal Bulletin’s Feb. 15 issue has more information.

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