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Outflanking fraud

Inspection Service campaign protects vets

Older veterans are often reluctant to report being victimized, fearing a loss of their independence because of being scammed.

The Postal Inspection Service and the AARP Fraud Watch Network are marking Veterans Day by highlighting Operation Protect Veterans, a campaign aimed at preventing scams against current and former service members.

According to a study by AARP, veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of scams.

Some swindlers offer veterans the opportunity to refinance U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-backed home loans at extremely low rates. Others will pose as government agents to access personal information or will offer lump sum payments in exchange for vets signing over any future monthly benefit checks.

Older veterans are often reluctant to report being victimized, for fear of losing independence by appearing vulnerable. This inaction benefits the fraudsters, who continue their crimes, targeting more veterans.

Many businesses and organizations give special offers and discounts to service members on Veterans Day. This environment can provide cover to con artists looking to separate veterans from their money. That is why it is important for veterans, as well as their friends and family, to be aware of schemes leveled at them.

The Inspection Service’s website has more information about Operation Protect Veterans.