This Veterans Day watch out for scams targeting service members

Fresh out of the military and searching for their next career move, new veterans are particularly susceptible to employment scams. Con artists are taking advantage of this by posting fake help wanted ads that appeal to (and hope to fool) veterans.

How the Scam Works:

The job market is tight, but you spot a help-wanted ad for a security guard. The post says the company is specifically looking for veterans.

You send your resume and soon receive a call from the “hiring manager.” He says you are a great fit and offers you the position. There’s just one catch: You need to pay $150 for training before you can start work. Your new boss tells you to either wire money or use a pre-paid debit card. You need the job, so you follow his instructions. But when you show up to your first day of training, no one is there. Your new job is bogus, and you are out the $150.

Always use caution when applying for jobs, and follow the tips below to spot scam job ads.

  • Read the ad carefully: Job postings with grammatical errors, misspellings and lots of exclamation marks are likely scams. Ads promoting jobs with generic titles, such as admin assistant or customer service rep, and containing the phrases  “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed” are popular in scam ads.
  • Do some online detective work: If a job looks suspicious, search for it in Google.  If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. Also, check out the business’ website to make sure the opening is posted there.  If you are still skeptical, call the business to check on the position.
  • You’re offered the job on the spot. You may be qualified candidate, but how does the hiring manager know? Hiring a candidate on the spot – especially after only a phone interview or email exchange – is a big sign that there isn’t a real job.
  • You are asked for money or personal information: Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training.

Source: BBB North Alabama and BBB.org

In addition, the AARP advises veterans to also be aware of the following scams:

  • The Cash for Benefits Scheme: Predatory lenders target veterans in need of money by offering cash in exchange for future disability or pension payments. These buyouts are typically a fraction of the value of the benefit.
  • Veterans Choice Program Scam: Scammers set up a phone number nearly identical to the number veterans dial to find out if they are eligible to use approved health care providers outside of the VA system. The person answering the phone tells the caller of a rebate he can get by supplying credit card information. Make sure to dial the correct number for the VCP: 1-866-606-8198.” Source: AARP

For more scam alerts and tips for veterans, go to Veterans Beware: Scams Targeting Those Who Served on the Rise. For more consumer resources for members of the military, check out BBB.org/military. To report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org