CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - July is Military Consumer Month and the Federal Trade Commission is posting weekly alerts about scams targeting service members, veterans and their families.
According to the most recent data from the FTC, military consumers reported losing $25 million to imposter scams last year. This is more than any other type of fraud, and military victims lost almost $200 per case than victims in the general public.
This week, the FTC is focusing on fake emergencies created by scammers. The caller may appear to be a relative, or someone claiming a family member is in jail. The scammer will ask you to send money immediately and insist that you keep quiet about the ordeal. They don't want you to check out the story and realize it's a scam.
The caller may ask you to use a prepaid credit card or a gift card to pay. This should be a key alert that the call is a scam. The FTC also recommends checking with a family member to corroborate the story, even though the caller asked you not to tell anyone.
If you already sent money, contact the company you used to report it as a fraudulent transaction. It's unlikely you will get the transaction reversed, but it may be worth the effort.
If you think you've been a victim of this scam or others, you can email Kyle Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.