Anyone can be the victim of a scam, but a recent report finds members of the military and veterans tend to lose more money to con artists than anyone.
Army veteran Michael Poling was looking for work and posted his resume on several employment sites. A company reached out with a customer service position he could do from home and was sent a check for $5,000 to buy home office equipment. He would send back any money left over.
“Nothing really odd about it or anything like that to me,” says Poling. That day he told an acquaintance about the job who said his wife had just fallen victim to a scam that sounded similar. “The original check bounced and then they were short the money,” says Poling.
The army veteran reached out to authorities. “They advised me to stop all contact, just don’t talk to them, don’t respond to them,” says Poling. He didn’t lose money, but many veterans do.
A study from the Better Business Bureau found current and former service members who fell for a scam lost an average of $200 that’s 32 percent more than the general public.
Better Business Bureau Melissa Bittner says, “When it comes to employment scams, it’s really important for you to pay attention for those work from home flexible job opportunities in particular.”
Bittner says current service members are also frequently the target of moving scams. Last year 44News talked to Army Sergeant Herbert Gill and his wife Amanda Gill. When the Gills transferred to a new base the moving company held the family’s possessions hostage until they paid an extra $1,200.
Herbert Gill says, “They’re doing this to me. What are they doing to a young soldier that doesn’t know any better?”
The Gills and the Polings shared their stories to alert other veterans and hopefully, protect them from getting scammed too.