Be on the lookout for these Memorial Day scams:

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WISCONSIN (WFRV) – Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is also a time to honor those who lost their lives for our country.

This is also a time when scammers unfortunately try to take advantage of victims in a variety of schemes with a patriotic or military approach.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), in 2021, active duty military members reported losing significantly more money than military spouses or veterans to scams.

These scams consist of high-priced military loans, veteran benefit buyout plans, fake rental properties, deceptive car sales, and expensive life insurance policies.

High-priced military loans are usually advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval, or no credit check. These often come with hidden fees and skyrocketing interest rates. The BBB reminds the community that legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply and that loans that require an upfront fee are usually scams.

Veterans’ benefit buyout plans typically offer a cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran’s future benefits or pension payments. The offer is usually only 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to. The BBB says you should do thorough research before signing anything.

Fake rental properties are a hot commodity for families trying to spend Memorial Day somewhere different from their home. Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used, usually in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives. Service members will then have to pay a fee by bank transfer either for a security deposit or for a key to the property in which, at the end, they will receive nothing.

Deceptive car sales are similar to fake rental properties in which websites offer fake military discounts. An upfront fee will be charged via bank transfer and those looking to buy the vehicles will be left with nothing.

The latest scam the BBB is warning about this Memorial Day involves expensive life insurance policies where members are targeted with high-pressure sales pitches. Lawyers make false claims about benefits.

Here are some tips to avoid scams:

  • Do your own research
  • Never transfer money to someone you don’t know
  • Protect your computer
  • Put an Active Duty alert on your credit reports upon deployment

For more information on Memorial Day scams, go to Better Business Bureau website here.

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