Military personnel are prime targets of criminals wanting to steal a piece of their financial livelihood. Knowing and understanding some of the deceptive tactics used can significantly reduce your chance of becoming a victim.
Although each scam has its own twist, here are some general guidelines you can follow to reduce your chances of becoming victimized by the myriad of different scams in operation.
- Know your rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
- Interest rates and fee structures are capped along with additional financial protections for many active personnel.
- Do your homework before engaging in a business transaction—talk with your neighbors and friends, ask for referrals, do your own internet research, and make sure to check out the business with an agency such as the Better Business Bureau.
- Do not take anything on its word and never sign blank documents. Get verbal promises in writing and read all documents carefully prior to offering up your signature.
- Check with the appropriate state and federal agency as most lenders, creditors, and other businesses are required to be licensed with the Colorado Consumer Credit Unit, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), or nationally with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
- Always be cautious of any unsolicited offer or offers from high-pressure sales personnel. Be wary of any offer that sounds too good to be true.
- Don’t assume a web site is credible—anyone can make an official looking web site designed to steal your money.
If you believe you have been victimized by a scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.