Consumer Alert: Helping veterans fight fraud

Consumer Alert: Helping veterans fight fraud

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Con artists look to make money off of the unsuspecting. In an effort to make sure military veterans are aware of the pitfalls, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issued some tips to help consumers.

"As we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served this country, scammers may pursue service members, their families, and anyone with sympathy for the military community," Attorney General Caldwell said.  "Beware of fraudsters aiming to prey on those who fight for our country and those who care for them."

Caldwell says scammers make lots of promises. Beware of quick and easy credit or bogus investment deals.

Here are a few tips Caldwell says can help consumers spot a scam:  
• Take your time. Any deal that pressures you to act immediately probably won't end well for you. Slow down and think about it – rushing into a supposed "deal" will usually just buy you trouble.
• Hold the line on the hype. Is this deal promising you the moon and the stars? Are they claiming you'll see risk-free results on an investment? Stop – there's no such thing as "risk-free." Don't let a scammer's skillful hype cloud your thinking.
• Listen for the name game. Do they throw around the words "veterans" or "military families" in their name or ads? That doesn't necessarily mean that veterans or the families of active-duty personnel support the organization or will benefit from a donation. Check out charities at the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance and GuideStar.
• Get it in writing. Before you open your wallet, ask for and look at the written terms of the deal. Then take your time and review.  Are the terms what you expected? If not, can you really trust that company?
• Check it out. Always do your homework. Talk to others. Look up the company online and search for consumer reports.

If you want more information, call the state's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 351-4889.

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