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AARP, USPIS, NWVU Launch Operation Protect Veterans In Chicagoland

New IdentityTheft Scam

Operation Protect Veterans will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Jesse Brown Veterans Health Care System located at 820 South Damen Ave in Chicago, IL 60612 in the 2nd Floor Damen Building.  Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and 9:30am program starts.

“We are proud to participate in partnership with the United States Postal Service, AARP, and National Women Veterans United in Operation Protect Veterans” Marc A. Magill, Medical Center Director Jesse Brown Veterans Health Care System”  It is an unfortunate fact that our Veterans are targets of malicious attempts to scam or take advantage of their service to our great Nation.  At Jesse Brown Veterans Health Care System, we are committed to providing the highest care and service to our Veterans, repaying them for the sacrifices they made for our freedoms.  We will diligently work with our partners to ensure their safety and security so they are not victims of any type of fraud or scam as well as support efforts to bring justice to those taking advantage of our heroes.

Recently, AARP and The United State Postal Inspection Service launched Operation Protect Veterans — a national campaign to warn those who have served in the military, as well as friends and family, about scams and fraud schemes that target veterans.

Our veterans are being targeted by scams specifically crafted to exploit their military service history,” said Bill Hedrick, Acting Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Service Chicago Division.  “Veterans deserve praise, honor, security and respect.  They do not deserve to have criminals take advantage of their service through fake charities, fraudulent veteran benefit agencies, or scams made to look like government programs.  That is why the Postal Inspection Service and AARP launched Operation Protect Veterans- to leverage our combined resources to help veterans avoid losing money to these criminals.”

According to an AARP Fraud Watch Network’s nationwide survey 16% of U.S. veterans have lost money to fraudsters compared to 8 percent of nonveterans. While women comprised just 7% of the total number of nonvictim veterans, they were 17% of the veterans who were fraud victims. Veterans also report that they are targeted by a large number of scams directly related to their military service or the veterans’ benefits they receive.  80% of the veterans surveyed said they have encountered veteran-specific scams.

Our study reveals how veterans are being deliberately targeted by scammers,” said Nancy Chen, a member of AARP Illinois volunteer Executive Council. “We are joining forces with our partners to help protect our veterans against consumer fraud, identity theft, and other scams. Our veterans have fought for us, protected us, and sacrificed so much for our freedoms. It is now time for us to protect them.”

The National Women Veterans United (NWVU) is proud to partner with AARP, the Postal Inspection Service and the Jesse Brown VA to host “Operation Protect Veterans.” Rochelle Crump, President/Founder National Women Veterans United (NWVU) “We want to ensure that military veterans are aware of the many frauds and scam tactics that target veterans across the nation. It is extremely important that we protect our younger service members who leave home for the first time. As older veterans “We never think it will happen to us,” however the compassion many of us have to help our fellow comrades, make it easier for us to fall prey to criminals that pursue our vulnerability. This is why “Operation Protect. Veterans” is so important. The more educated we become on national and local frauds and scams, the better prepared and less likely we will become victims.”

The AARP study shows veteran scam victims say they are more likely to trust a person who has previously served in the military.  And victims say they are more likely to donate to charities that support our service members and veterans.

Participants in Saturday’s Operation Protect Veterans will receive insight, tools, and resources into the unscrupulous tactics scammers use to try and defraud our veterans, including:

  • Benefits buyout scam: Offering upfront payment of cash in exchange for a veteran’s future disability or pension payments.
  • Investment/pension scam: Claim veteran may be able to claim additional government benefits by overhauling their investment holdings.
  • Veterans Choice Program scam: Scammer use 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.
  • Charging for records: Attempts to charge for access to a veteran’s military records or government forms.
  • VA phishing: Calling veterans claiming they work for the VA and ask for personal information to update their records.
  • Employment scams: Post bogus job offers to recruit veterans on various online job boards. The scammer may use or sell your personal information provided in the job application.
  • GI Bill education marketing scam: Veterans seeking to take advantage of the GI Bill for college courses may be targets of deceptive marketing tactics that provide false information and encourage them to attend expensive for-profit educational institutions.
  • Special deals for veterans scam: Offering special discounts for veterans on a range of products, like loans and car purchases. Often, the products aren’t discounted at all, or they don’t actually exist.
  • Rental scam: Posts a fake rental property on a classified ad website offering discounts for active duty military and veterans. Only there is no rental property and you just lost your security deposit.

AARP’s membership includes 6.5 million veterans and the U.S. Postal Services is the nation’s largest employer of veterans, with 113,000 of its workers having served in the military.

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