Scam artists will use every trick in the book to take advantage of Americans and no one is immune, even military service members. July is Military Consumer Month and officials aim to educate military families about potential deceptive practices that specifically target these families and their unique circumstances, according to a news release from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 3.2 million reports nationwide, with nearly 650,000 of those complaints categorized as imposter scams.
“It is shocking that there are people in this world that will take advantage of our service members and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Rutledge said. “With such a large military population living in Arkansas, we must use every resource to educate and protect our service members, veterans and their families from experiencing fraud at the hands of con artists.”
Rutledge is offering free webcasts that can assist veterans with consumer protection and how to avoid common scams and identity theft, Wednesday, July 15, and Wednesday, July 29.
In 2015, Rutledge launched the Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office to assist active duty military, reservists and veterans with consumer-related issues, veterans courts, the Hiring Heroes program and many other collaborative efforts.
Rutledge shared the following list from the Federal Trade Commission of the most common complaints filed by service members in Arkansas in 2020 to present day.
Identity Theft – 2,210 complaints filed;
Credit Bureaus, Info Furnishers and Report Users – 1,016 complaints filed;
Imposter Scams – 458 complaints filed;
Telephone and Mobile Services – 365 complaints filed;
Online Shopping and Negative Reviews – 260 complaints filed;
Banks and Lenders – 238 complaints filed;
Debt Collection – 233 complaints filed;
Auto Related – 153 complaints filed;
Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries – 138 complaints filed;
Internet Services – 127 complaints filed.
Military Consumer Month is a partnership between the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Defense and other state and local organizations.
Arkansas military service members, veterans and families should file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling 800-482-8982.