Military Appreciation Month, celebrated annually during the month of May, is a time to honor the courageous men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation with unwavering dedication, bravery, and selflessness. This special observance was established as a national tradition to acknowledge the immense sacrifices and contributions made by our armed forces in safeguarding our country’s freedom, democracy, and way of life.
Unfortunately, our military heroes are often targeted by unscrupulous individuals seeking to exploit their unique circumstances and vulnerabilities. Financial scams aimed at service members and veterans are increasingly common, taking advantage of their frequent relocations, deployments, and varying financial experiences. The effects of these scams can be devastating, not only impacting the financial well-being of our military personnel but also eroding their trust and confidence. As part of Military Appreciation Month, it is essential to raise awareness of these scams and educate service members, veterans, and their families on how to recognize and avoid them, to ensure that those who have given so much for our country are adequately protected and supported in return.
According to the Better Business Bureau, military consumers experience a higher rate of financial loss due to scams compared to the general population. The most hazardous scams targeting military consumers include:
- Employment Scams: Military consumers reported losses twice as high as those reported by the general population.
- Credit Repair / Debt Relief Scams: Military consumers lost 68% more than the general population, with an average loss of $1,300 compared to $772.
- Home Improvement Scams: Military consumers experienced a 14% higher loss rate than the general population, with an average loss of $2,000 compared to $1,754.
To protect yourself from scams, consider the following precautions:
- Exercise caution with caller ID: Be aware that scammers can manipulate numbers and business names, making them appear legitimate.
- Refrain from providing personal information to callers: Genuine callers will not request such information. If you have already disclosed personal details, visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn about the appropriate steps to take.
- Verify the legitimacy of businesses: Research the company’s ratings, reviews, and contract information online to confirm its authenticity.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if you suspect you have fallen victim to a scam.
- Report scams to the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker.
It is imperative to recognize the unique vulnerabilities of military consumers, who face a higher risk of falling victim to financial scams compared to the general population. During Military Appreciation Month and beyond, it is our collective responsibility to raise awareness of these threats and provide the necessary tools and resources to help service members, veterans, and their families protect themselves. By staying vigilant, verifying the authenticity of businesses and callers, and promptly reporting any suspicious activity, we can work together to support and safeguard the financial well-being of those who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation.
If you are a Legacy client and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Legacy advisor. If you are not a Legacy client and are interested in learning more about our approach to personalized wealth management, please contact us at 920.967.5020 or email@example.com.
This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only.
It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.