Scam alert: Veterans and those sympathetic being targeted in 2 ways

Scam alert: Veterans and those sympathetic being targeted in 2 ways

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - Veterans Affairs is warning of two kinds of scams which are specifically targeting former service members and those who care about them.

WTOL 11 sat down with the experts to find out what you and your loved ones can do to keep from getting scammed.

Ken Leslie, the Advocate in Chief, for the Toledo based national non-profit, Veterans Matter, is appalled.

"I think it's unconscionable that people could take advantage of our military like that. That they could even try to get something from people who have given so much for free," he said.

Horrible scams are becoming prevalent and dangerous to our community. One scam involves fake charities that pose as organizations that benefit the veteran population. These scammers prey on the everyday person who wants to give back.

"When you hear of someone raising money for veterans, don't automatically accept it," Dick Eppstein, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau suggested. "Or, when you hear of a wonderful deal for veterans, don't automatically believe it. You have to do your homework. You have to check these things out. Give us a call at Better Business Bureau.  We'll check for you, free! We'll see if we can find out who they are, where they're calling from, what the deal is, and frankly, if it even exists."

The second kind of scam is worse. It targets veterans directly by posing as companies that claim to offer fast cash for pension buyouts.

For most veterans, their VA pensions are hard-fought to get, and with this swindle can instantly disappear, leading to even larger problems like veteran homelessness.

"Law enforcement, a lot of them that I know, like our chief of police here, are veterans, and anybody that's taking advantage of veterans, in any of our systems, are going to be found out, and they're going to find that, that wasn't a really good idea to mess with those who have done nothing but put it all on the line for us," said Leslie stressed.

These fraudulent solicitations appeal to a sense of duty and honor.

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