Scams targeting military and their families

Posted: May 24, 2013 --- 8:50pm

It's a time to remember, to reflect, and to recognize those who fought for our freedom. But, Memorial Day is also a time when scammers target those who serve.

"Some of the things that put a military family at risk is the unique way that their life kind of is structured" says Kimberly Hazen of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.

Often, military members and their families move around a lot, spouses spend much of the time apart and they're also faced with a tight budget.

"Especially when it comes to finances, you really need to know what the other hand is doing” says Hazen.

There are some scams to look out for. A big one is fake rental properties.

"It could be a stolen picture of a legitimate rental apartment and then they're asked to send a security deposit, set up the rental, and then there's no rental” says Hazen.

Another thing to look out for: high price loans.

"It's an advance fee where you don't actually end up getting the loan. A legitimate lender will not ever approve you before looking at your situation” she says.

And discounts may not be as good as they seem.

"It just kind of perks them up like 'oh OK, I get special treatment' when in fact it's really not and in fact can be really targeted and predatory” Hazen tells NBC 15.

Military members and their families aren't the only ones targeted this holiday weekend.. Everyone should be on the lookout for fake charities looking to prey on the vulnerable.

"Unfortunately charitable solicitations, by their nature, need to pull at the heartstrings. All you got to do is look like a legitimate charity” says Hazen.

For more tips you can trust, visit

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at or call 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).

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