Good news for military consumers: A smaller percentage of active duty servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses fell victim to scams in 2022 than the previous year, according to a Better Business Bureau (BBB) report.
Bad news: Those who did fall victim … fell hard.
Active duty servicemembers reported a median loss of $490 to scammers in 2022, more than triple the amount reported by non-military consumers ($163). Military spouses reported a $248 median loss to scams, while veterans reported a $200 median loss.
[MOAA WEBINAR RECORDING: Outsmart the Scammers (Life/Premium Member Exclusive)]
While scammers may score big, they have been less successful overall with the military community, per the BBB – 38.6% of military consumers reported falling victim to scams in 2022, down from 44.1% the previous year.
Online purchase scams remain the top type of fraud connected to the military community. Some of these scams target families on the move, with scammers impersonating military members or spouses and/or looking to secure a down payment on a car or apartment that doesn’t exist. The Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) offers a detailed breakdown of these scams; MOAA is a program partner in the CSN’s work to protect military and veteran families from cybercrime.
Employment scams ranked second for military spouses – not surprising given the group’s traditionally high unemployment rate. Another potential pitfall comes from spouses seeking work-from-home options, which may make them more vulnerable to scams involving starter fees and recruiting schemes.
[RELATED: Busy Season for Fraud Targeting Servicemembers, Veterans, and More]
Home improvement scams ranked second for veterans and were the most popular scam type for all consumers over age 65, per the report. These scams frequently involve door-to-door solicitation, with fraudsters accepting advance payment (often by cash or check) for work that’s never done or done poorly. The BBB survey did not break out the amount of mortgage fraud faced by any groups, but many veterans have found themselves targeted by VA loan-related scams, to include refinance offers.
The BBB report includes a breakdown of multiple scam types, along with tips to avoid fraud. More tips are available at FightCybercrime.org and through webinar recordings and articles at MOAA.org.
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
MOAA members Save 20% on Identity Guard.