SALT LAKE CITY — Memorial Day is a day to reflect and remember those who have sacrificed their lives and time to the U.S. armed forces.
As a way to honor military personnel, companies are known to offer discounts or deals over the holiday weekend. But despite good intentions, the Better Business Bureau is warning people to be vigilant of scams targeting veterans and military families during this time.
Last year active-duty military members lost over $190,000 across the country due to targeted scams, according to BBB research. However, veterans in general lost over $270,000 to fraudulent business practices. Additionally, 49% of scam victims were over the age of 55.
In an effort to fight back against scammers, the BBB is hoping to educate vets and their families about fraudulent behavior.
Looking out for Memorial Day scams
BBB Utah spokesperson Britta Clark told KSL NewsRadio the scammers use the vet's patriotism to appeal to their emotions and they use high-pressure tactics after that.
"They're going to tell you: 'This is a one-time offer, and you're going to need to do it within the next 10 minutes or you're never going to be able to again.' That is something to definitely not fall for," advised Clark.
Some of the most common scams against military members include things like high-priced loans, benefit buyout programs, and fake rental properties.
Furthermore, the BBB encourages vets to do their research on the companies asking you for money before you pull out the wallet. If you're concerned something may be a scam, review business profiles on BBB.org.
It's also good to check government websites if the service requires a license, such as interstate moving companies or companies using pesticides.
Visit BBB Military Line for more tips and resources to protect military service members.