AARP Launches Online Resource Center to Help Protect Veterans Against Rising Fraud

Posted on 04/21/22

Free Resources Identify Top Scams Facing Montana’s Military Community and Ways to Fight Back

Montana’s 94,404 military veterans and active-duty service members are at risk of being targeted by scammers. Today, AARP launched the AARP Veterans Fraud Center, a new online education and resource center to help protect veterans, service members and their families against fraud.

According to an AARP survey, one in three military/veteran adults reported losing money to scams that are specifically trying to take advantage of the trust they have in the military community. Veterans, active-duty service members and their families are 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population. These individuals lost more than $267 million in 2021, up from $102 million in 2020 (a 162% increase), according to the Federal Trade Commission.

“Targeting scams at members of the military community is unconscionable,” said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director.  “AARP Montana has launched this effort to alert veterans and their families of the latest scams and how to avoid them.”

Top scams aimed at veterans include:

  • Benefit Buyouts: Turning over U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension and/or disability benefits for a supposed lump-sum payment that never materializes (47%).
  • Fraudulent records scam: Paying for updated personal military records (32%).
  • The fake charitable giving request: Donating to fake veteran charities (32%).

Free resources in the AARP Veterans Fraud Center include:

Some top tips AARP’s Fraud Watch Network recommends include: signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry and using a call-blocking service; using strong and unique passwords for each online account; using two-factor authentication when available; and placing a free security freeze on credit reports at each of the three major credit bureaus. Also, veterans never have to pay for their service records or earned benefits—if told otherwise, it’s a scam.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana has one of the highest per capita Veteran populations in the U.S. -- about 1 in 10 residents are Veterans. Continuing its longstanding commitment to honor veterans, active military and their families, AARP Montana has set up a resource page to share free tools, guides and resources that are especially designed for Montana veterans and military personnel at www.aarp.org/MTVets. A profile of Montana's veterans can be found here >>

To learn more about the AARP Veterans Fraud Center and to download a free copy of the new Watchdog Alert Handbook: Veterans’ Edition, visit www.aarp.org/vetsfraudcenter. For additional resources and information on AARP’s support for veterans and military families, including caregiving, competing in today’s job market, and connecting with earned service benefits, visit www.aarp.org/veterans.

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About AARP:
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.​

About AARP Montana:
For nearly 50 years, AARP has been working right here in big sky country to improve the lives of the 50 plus. As a non-profit organization, AARP Montana advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. By fighting on issues that matter most to Montana families and providing trusted information, we’re helping to empower Montanans to choose how they live as they age. Today, over 137,000 strong, AARP Montana is one of the largest membership organizations in the state.  As a nonpartisan organization, AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political action committees, campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/MT or follow @AARPMontana on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Montana. Visit the AARP Montana page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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