Kentucky Attorney General Offers Tips for Avoiding Scams During National Military Consumer Protection Month

During National Military Consumer Protection Month, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron offered tips for military members, veterans and their families to avoid major scams. These scams can hurt personal finances, harm credit, or threaten security clearances.

“Our service members, veterans and their families sacrifice a lot to protect and serve our country, and we want to make sure they have the information they need to avoid harmful scams,” Cameron said. “During Military Consumer Protection Month, we’re highlighting the top scams military members can face, and sharing tips for avoiding the financial loss associated with fraud.”

Main scams and tricks:

1. Impersonation

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s identity or personal information to open an account, enter into a lease or loan, obtain services, file taxes, apply for government benefits, or break the law.

Follow these tips to avoid identity theft scams:

• Beware of phishing phone calls, text messages, QR codes or emails that impersonate a company or government agency and ask for your personal information.

• Consider placing a free “fraud alert” on your credit file by contacting one of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransunionWhere Equifax.

• Consider making social media accounts private and limiting friends to known people to minimize the ability of scammers to steal your images and discover personal details about your life.

2. Home rental scams

Home rental scams usually involve scammers posing as real estate agents or landlords. In these schemes, the scammer alters a listing of properties compiled by a legitimate agency or landlord by listing it as a rental home on a social media or classifieds platform under their name and contact details. Once an individual expresses interest in the property, the scammer often claims that they cannot provide a solution and asks the consumer to post a security deposit before viewing the rental. Scammers usually request payment through an online platform or peer-to-peer payment apps.

Follow these tips to avoid rental scams:

• Visit the property before paying a security deposit or signing a lease. If a rental is not available for viewing in person, do not rent the property.

• Beware of odd payment requests. Avoid dealing with companies or individuals who require payment via wire transfers, gift cards, or online payment platforms.

• Work with reputable companies. Visit the Better Business Bureauto view information about a company’s reputation.

3. Identity theft scams

In these schemes, scammers pose as companies or agencies by spoofing legitimate email addresses and asking for account passwords or bank account information.

Follow these tips to avoid identity theft scams:

• Avoid sharing personal information such as account passwords or banking information in an email or with an unsolicited caller.

• Verify the identity of the person you are communicating with.

Military members or veterans who believe they have been scammed can report it by visiting ag.ky.gov/scams. For more tips on avoiding scams and fraud, visit ag.ky.gov/consumeralerts.

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