INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's attorney general is warning members of the military, veterans and their families to be on the lookout for scams specifically targeting them.
According to Attorney General Todd Rokita, military members should be aware of some recent scams from so-called military charities, calls and texts impersonating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and crowdfunding scams.
“By their very nature, the men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces tend to be selfless individuals,” Attorney General Rokita said in a release. “They consistently prioritize the needs of their country ahead of their own comforts and safety. As part of our office’s mission to safeguard consumers, we want to make a special point to remind these heroes to stay vigilant against fraud, identity theft and other predatory practices.”
The Attorney General's Office offered tips to help protect military families from scams:
- Place an active duty alert on credit reports at no cost. An active duty alert requires businesses to take additional steps before granting credit in the name of active duty personnel serving overseas.
- Carefully inspect email addresses in all messages landing in your inbox.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and be wary of email attachments.
- Purchase goods and services from trusted vendors. Use trusted, legitimate websites when doing business online.
- Don’t reveal personal or financial information via email or text message.
- Verify the authenticity of a charity before donating money. You may research charities at the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance website at give.org.
- Pay by credit card for all transactions. This enables you to file disputes with your credit card provider if you encounter fraudulent sellers. Do not wire money to purchase items. Never pay with gift cards.
- Do not follow payment instructions that take you outside of the payment services of legitimate websites with which you are familiar. This is generally a phishing attempt to steal credit card information.
- Take your time. Never feel pressured to act immediately to sign a contract or make a transaction.
If you believe you've encountered a scam, visit IndianaConsumer.com to file a complaint.