July is Military Consumer Month and the Better Business Bureau is here to share tips and resources for military service members, veterans and military families.
According to the 2018 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, military consumers lost 33% more money to scammers than non-military consumers last year with a median loss of $200 (compared with $150). Knowing which businesses military families can trust while dealing with the challenges of military life is not easy, especially when dealing with frequent moves. It’s during these times when you may be more likely to make a hasty purchasing decision—which can leave you vulnerable to scammers and imposters out to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
Here are our quick tips to help you buy from legitimate businesses you can trust:
- Never rush to make a purchasing decision. Take your time to evaluate products, services and the businesses that provide them, especially if you’ve never engaged with that company before. Remember, the lowest bidder may not always be the best option.
- Search for businesses with good online reviews and ratings and ask people you trust for references. Checking BBB Business Profiles is always a great place to start!
- Work with businesses that have proper identification, licensing, and insurance, which you can check through your state’s or province’s licensing agency or call BBB to help. Companies should also share their contact information on their website and be accessible when you try to reach them by phone, email or social media.
Looking for other ways the BBB can help you and your family? Check out BBB.org/Military. There you can find out more about BBB Military Line® (our community outreach program facilitated by local Better Business Bureaus across the U.S. and Canada) as well as online resources like our e-newsletter, BBB Saluting Trust. If you want to make sure you can shop, save, and plan for the future with trust—BBB is here for you.
We’re also excited to announce a new research report, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, will be released later this month in partnership with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA). This report will examine the more than 28,000 business complaints and nearly 5,000 scams reported by service members, veterans, and military family members to BBB in 2018 to help shed light on the unique marketplace risks and challenges faced by military consumers. We are grateful to those who were brave and thoughtful enough to share their stories on BBB Scam Tracker, and encourage all consumers to report scams and help fight back against fraudsters!