FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- July is Military Consumer Month and the focus is on imposter scams. As the Federal Trade Commission has said, "Last year, imposter scams once again topped the list of frauds that military consumers reported to the FTC."
The FTC is encouraging the financial and military media to focus on imposter scams, which it says totaled more than 36,000 complaints and cost each of its victims around $900.
When Debt.com Chairman Howard Dvorkin drilled down on the FTC's numbers, he found something interesting: Military personnel lose almost twice as much as everyone else to imposter scams. The FTC said in 2018, all consumers "reported a median loss of $500" to imposter scams much less than the median loss of $900 for military personnel. So why is the military suffering more than the citizens it protects?
"Crooks go where the money is, and the military's benefits draw them like moths to a flame," Dvorkin says. "Remember, if you get called or emailed by someone demanding your personal information, be wary. No governmental agency threatens you with dire consequences if you don't surrender personal details over the phone."
This week, Dvorkin answered a Debt.com reader question about the military and money, and he cautioned about imposter scams: "Just like any other arms race, these bad guys keep developing sophisticated weapons. So every time we shut them down, they keep popping back up, like cockroaches."
Once those crooks acquire enough personal information to steal your identity, they can steal your money. Dvorkin concludes, "When it comes to military ID theft, remember: Don't ever give out your name, rank, and serial number. Offer to call back those agencies at their number."
Debt.com helps military personnel get out of debt and stay there. Dvorkin advises military personnel to read the report, Making Debt Consolidation Simple for Service Members and Veterans. The site also provides options for debt relief for services members and veterans, as well as military loan forgiveness for student loans.
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