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When people report scams to the FTC, we learn a lot about how they experience fraud. These fraud reports are important for law enforcement and education efforts. And, as more and more people report fraud, the data can tell a more detailed story about specific groups of people. One example is recent data showing some differences between military consumers – both veterans and active duty – and civilians.

Since 2015, the FTC has gotten 163,000 fraud reports from military retirees and veterans; nearly 13,000 from active duty servicemembers; and three million from civilians. Of these fraud reports, 12% of retirees and veterans reported a financial loss from the fraud – lower than the 16% of active duty servicemembers reporting a loss and the 14% of civilians who reported a loss.

But here’s the thing: the median loss for military retirees and veterans is $950. Compare that to the median loss for active duty servicemembers ($775) and for civilians ($658).

The median loss for veterans is 23% higher than current servicemembers – and 44% higher than that for other civilians. It’s worth noting and watching – and hearing from more servicemembers and veterans. The more people report frauds, the more we can flesh out the story and help law enforcement go after scammers and dishonest practices.

If you’re an active or retired servicemember, we want to hear about your experiences. If you spot a scam, tell the FTC. When you do, you’ll also be telling more than 2,300 law enforcers who are members of the Consumer Sentinel Network.

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8 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Christina Lynn
November 18, 2019
I have been talking to a man from Hamburg Germany by the name of Eric Houck , it's only been about two months he has not asked for money but he did ask me if I knew about Bitcoin and asked if I could open a wallet and he might want to transfer his coin to mine. I told him no within the first month he was confessing his love to me and how deep and true that it was. He hasn't asked for money but he wants to come to United States to move with me he works out at seas has a 12 year old son and says that he lost his wife. We've never video chat it before I'm asked him if we could he told me that he couldn't because it was overseas and it could be policy regulations art can't find out first.
Ashamed2fall4it
November 19, 2019
last November we lost 72,000 dollars in a scam to buy our timeshare out of Mexico. as a released medically veteran this wiped out our retirement savings. companies believed to be working out of 2 states were actually working in Cancun and Mexico city, ending up stealing what the FBI have said to us is 3.5 million dollars. however because we are not American citizens the FBI will not assist us despite our handing over information identifying who they are, where they are etc. many people often take their own lives over this sort of loss and we were on that doorstep. My PTSD from service has made me ashamed of what we / I fell 4.
senior.sucker
November 25, 2019

In reply to by Ashamed2fall4it

We were recently scammed out of a lot of dollars by trying to sell a timeshare in Mexico. Would be interested to know who or what company was acting as your Broker to sell the timeshare. Feeling stupid in Ontario
figmo6673
November 19, 2019
I am a disabled Veteran discharged in 1973. In all that time I've never been fooled by any fraud schemes. The frauds have all been quite obvious--to me, anyway. I just don't understand how so many Veterans and active duty folks have fallen victim to the schemes. If it involves money, folks should spend a little time checking things out before enthusiastically spending their money.
Nadeen
November 19, 2019
The number of scams is growing daily. can't your attention be more proactive instead of reactive?
Warren S
November 21, 2019
To day I received a call from1-800-772-1213 stating it was from the Social Security Administration, I hung up the phone before the message was finished was finished. I did hear that my Social Security was in Jeopardy. Yesterday I did reach out to the Veteran's Administration for some information.
Motherof children
November 20, 2019
My son's father who gave POA to lady he met on line after he became sick. She had him sign his truck, home, bank account, and all belongings over to her prior to going into Hospice. He retired from the military and she knew of his family. We were not notified and his wishes of being sent to Arlington didn't happen as family had to sign off. Once we found out we reported what happen and to this day nothing happen to her. He was to sick to fight her demands and she was clever. His child or grandchild received nothing of his estate as she took it. Beware of POA. He was a smart man until the cancer and agent orange took over.
Don't karmause…
March 04, 2020
I have over a hundred names and numbers they are using. After falling for it losing money caught on and I played there game I have lots of them if you want them.