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Phone scam targets military members, veterans

100K veterans complained last year

SAN ANTONIO – A phone scam is targeting local veterans and is costing some a pretty penny of their hard-earned money.

Most times it starts with a simple phone call.
 
"One of the things we've seen is fake organizations set up. They call the veterans and act, and it looks like it's a VA organization because of the caller ID. The operator sounds official," said Brooklynn Chandler Willy, with Texas Financial Advisory.
 
The voice on the other end pretends to have good news.
 
"It's all an act, and they're good. They're so clever and it's easy to fall for,” Willy said. "We've had clients bring in checks that look so authentic, and it's a check for being a veteran and it looks like it's from the U.S. government.”
 
Fraudsters don't always stop there. They take advantage of the fact that military families move around. 
 
"(Veterans) get a call saying that they have an old debt from where they previously had moved, so they think they have this debt outstanding and they pay it, which opens them up to identity theft and paying on something they didn't owe," Willy said.
 
Willy said these sorts of scams happen often. Last year, there were 100,000 complaints from veterans, and those are just the victims who complained. According to Willy, that number may be way higher.

There are ways to protect yourself. Most times, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. You should also keep a close eye on your accounts.
 
"Every year, you can check on your credit, but there’s also other credit agencies that you can subscribe to, to try and monitor yourself. But just continue to check your personal information, your data," Willy said.