CHICAGO – In advance of Veterans Day, Attorney General Kwame Raoul is encouraging veterans, service members and their families to participate in a free military rights webinar to learn how to avoid scams directed at veterans and what to do if they have been a victim of a scam.
Raoul’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau will host the free What to Know About Veterans Consumer Scams webinar Nov. 8 at 11:30 a.m.
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“This Veterans Day, and every day, my office is dedicated to protecting the benefits our veterans have earned through their selfless service and dedication to this country,” Raoul said. “I encourage current service members, veterans and their families to join this webinar to ensure they have the knowledge to recognize and defend themselves from the bad actors who target them and their benefits.”
Raoul said veterans are often victims of other frauds, scams or identity theft. A recent report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosed that more than 152,000 reports of various frauds or scams were filed by veterans and military retirees, resulting in a total loss of $378 million in 2022.
The Attorney General’s webinar will explain why veterans are targeted and provide examples of common scams, such as payday and pension advance loan scams. The presentation will also include tips to help veterans avoid scams, as well as actions to take if a veteran becomes a victim of these scams.
Attorney General Raoul recommends veterans and their families consider the following tips to avoid scams:
- Know that most government agencies will initiate contact through official letters sent by mail – not by phone, email, text message or direct message through social media.
- Do not send payments by wire transfers or gift cards.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions:
- What is the organization, and what does it do?
- How did you get my information?
- Why are you contacting me?
- Do not donate to an organization that requires you to make a donation before it will send written information about the charity.
- Prior to making a charitable donation, make sure the charity is registered with the Illinois Attorney General’s office by using the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Database search tool or by contacting the office’s Charitable Trust Bureau.
- Do not feel pressured to donate right away. Take time to do some research.
Veterans, service members and other individuals interested in attending the webinar can do so online (preferred) or by phone:
Online: Click this Zoom link (no account required) with passcode: dQ!e7YxE
Phone: 312-626-6799 with Webinar ID: 892 3342 3304 and passcode: 57653871
Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities can contact the Attorney General’s office using the 7-1-1 relay service. For additional assistance or to request reasonable accommodations, please email email@example.com or calling 1-866-376-7215.
For questions or more information on service members’ and veterans’ rights, visit the Attorney General’s website or call the Military and Veterans’ Rights Helpline at 1-800-382-3000 to speak with a member of the bureau. The Military and Veterans Rights Bureau offers in-person or virtual presentations on service member employment rights, the Military and Veterans Assistance Act (MVAA), as well as fraud and scams that target veterans and their benefits. Information about future training opportunities can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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