Skip to content

How Fraudsters Target Military Veterans

Veterans Day is a popular time for businesses to advertise to the military, including merchants offering predatory services. For this reason, it's important for payment service providers to scrutinize merchants offering help with official services to ensure they aren't taking advantage of customers.

For example, some merchants offer to help retired military members process form DD-214, which is a discharge and separation document that is required for veterans to claim military benefits such as college education discounts, VA loans, and medical benefits. This form is only available through the National Archives, and can take weeks to process. 

Some merchants specializing in veterans services claim they can process the forms faster, but in actuality they simply submit the form to the National Archives on the behalf of the applicant for an added cost. This no-value-added service may face heightened scrutiny because it targets veterans, who, according to the FTC, lose 44% more money to fraud than civilians. Between 2015 and 2019, the FTC received about 163,000 fraud reports from military retirees and veterans; median losses were $950 compared to $658 for civilians.

screenshot of a website offering government services

A merchant with a website designed to look official offers an "expedited service" of DD-214 forms for $89.

 

What to Watch Out For

  • Merchants that promise to process government forms faster than the government
  • Websites that look strikingly similar to government websites offering the same service
  • Merchants with products or services tailored to veterans or members of the military

 

Want to learn about other trends that tend to recur on an annual basis? Download LegitScript's Seasonal High-risk Trends Guide.

Person writing on calendar

 

David Khalaf is a writing, communications, and marketing professional with specialties in media, investigations, content strategy, and writing instruction. His 20 years of writing, media, and communications work have included two top-tier universities (USC and UCLA), print and digital magazines, consulting firms, and technology companies.

His current work involves content strategy and development at LegitScript, a company that helps the world's leading search engines, payment service providers, and internet platforms and marketplaces do business with legitimate, legally operating entities in more than 80 countries and 15 languages around the world. LegitScript specializes in risk and compliance for highly regulated industries including CBD/cannabis, online gambling, cryptocurrencies, drugs, financial trading, online adult, scams and fraud, and more.

Recent Blog Articles

New gun laws in California 2023

New Gun MCC Law Passed in California Sparks Debate

The leading state for gun safety legislation is paving the way for the rest of the nation by requiring the implementation of a gun MCC - providing companies with what some allege is an invasive level of visibility into firearm and ammunition sales. Learn more about firearms-related MCCs and their sh...
payments fraud

LegitScript Merchant Monitoring Detects and Prevents Payments Fraud

As the number of online card-not-present transactions continues to increase, it has become more important than ever for acquiring and sponsoring banks as well as payment processors to get merchant-level insight into their downstream or merchant portfolio. Contact us for a quick strategy session to s...
compliant cbd products

How CBD Product Labels Stray from Regulatory Requirements

From understanding permissible statements to avoiding misleading claims, discover permissible and impermissible CBD product label claims to ensure compliance and consumer trust. LegitScript's CBD Certification assures consumers that your products are labeled transparently and compliant with local an...
AI deepfakes

Exposing AI Deepfakes Is Critical to Combating Fraud in 2024 — Here’s How

The rapid advancement and widespread adoption of deepfake technology marks a pivotal moment in the development of the technological landscape, introducing a higher degree of uncertainty to the online ecosystem and putting individuals, institutions, and businesses that fail to adapt at an increasingl...