LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge offered a list of tips to help veterans avoid scams.
The office warns of email messages claiming to be from a legitimate organization that does not have its own domain name. An official email from a legitimate company or organization should not come from an email address ending in “@gmail.com” or “@yahoo.com”.
The attorney general’s office says to look out for poor spelling and grammar. Legitimate companies and organizations typically proofread documents and emails thoroughly before sending them.
The office also says to be cautious with suspicious links and high-pressure requests. It says scammers will say and do anything to steal personal information. By sending a link through email or text message which is clicked on by the consumer, scammers can steal any personal information that its saved on the device. The attorney general’s office says to never click on any link sent from an unknown source.
Rutledge’s office says to be suspicious of unsolicited investment advice. Some scammers have disguised themselves as veterans’ advocates and claim victims are entitled to additional veterans’ benefits. If approached by someone in this manner, the office says to confirm the alleged state regulatory office, hang up, and independently call the office directly.
The office also says to be aware of any scam artists charging money for free records. Scammers will attempt to convince veterans to pay for documents that are already free. The office says if someone wants copies of Veterans Affairs or military records, they can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Archives, or the appropriate service branch.
Rutledge’s office says to be skeptical of any exclusive deal for veterans. It says in some cases, there are legitimate deals for veterans, but in many cases, the items are not discounted at all, but non-existent products and services. It is best to check the product before it is bought and never send money to unknown people, according to the attorney general’s office.
The attorney general’s office says it is common for scammers to demand payment for large sums of money upfront and some will even go as far as claiming to be military personnel overseas. The office says no legitimate business will ever demand for complete payment upfront.
Rutledge’s office also says to be suspicious of any individual or entity requiring money to file disability claims for veterans. It says the claim process is free and can be submitted by coordinating with a certified County Veteran Service Officer or any Veteran Administration claims representative. The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs can help find certified CVSOs here.
“It is disgraceful that these criminals would target some of our bravest men and women who have put their lives on the line for this great country,” Rutledge said. “I want veterans, active duty and reserve service members, and their families across Arkansas to learn how to recognize these scams to avoid falling victim to the deception.”