According to the Federal Trade Commission, veterans lost approximately $60 million to fraud in 2020. Among the greatest fraud threats to this group is “imposter” fraud. This brief article defines the fraud and offers suggestions to avoid it.
In this scheme, a criminal calls, emails, or texts potential victims pretending to work for the Veterans Administration (VA) or another government agency. To facilitate claims for additional benefits, they will request personal information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers. They then use the data to commit identity theft.
Posing as financial advisors, they will buy the veteran’s pension for up-front cash pay at a substantial discount or charge a fee to access an unknown government program. After paying, the vets learn the programs don’t exist.
If you’re a military member or vet, don’t provide any information about yourself until you’ve independently confirmed the identity of anyone claiming to be a government official. Call the agency’s official phone number to inquire about the matter.
Never give anyone Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers over the phone or in response to an electronic communication. Legitimate representatives from the VA, IRS or state unemployment agencies won’t ask for them. Contact us with questions about these or any other form of financial fraud.
This advice applies to all individuals with current assets or future benefits. Take care with the information you share.
The HoganTaylor Tax Practice
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INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. This content is for informational purposes only. This content does not constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon by you or any third party, including to operate or promote your business, secure financing or capital in any form, obtain any regulatory or governmental approvals, or otherwise be used in connection with procuring services or other benefits from any entity. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult with professional advisors.