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Airmen Warned of Scams Targeting Military Members | Money / Finance

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Airmen Warned of Scams Targeting Military Members
Money / Finance
Airmen Warned of Scams Targeting Military Members

Our military members protect the country, but there are questions about who is protecting them from financial hardships.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Holly Petraeus, the wife of CIA Director David Petraeus, spent Wednesday at Nellis Air Force Base talking to members of the military about finances.

Petraeus was a longtime military spouse. Before taking the lead at the CIA, David Petraeus was the top U.S. commander in Iraq. Now, she is director of the Office of Service Member Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She says she understands the difficulties many military members and their families face. She also wanted to remind them that they are prime targets for financial fraud and scams.

“There are those deals that cluster around military bases. It is described like bears at a trout stream,” Petraeus said. “Some of them say: ‘We love the military. We are military friendly.’ Just because they say they love the military does not mean they do not want to pick your pocket.”

A town hall meeting was held where airmen and women were able to share their stories and get information on how to report potential fraud. Cortez Masto told the group that unscrupulous people are always looking for any way to make money.

“Scammers look for a way in. If they know someone is active military they will try to figure out how they can take advantage. They will say: ‘we give discounts to active military,’ or ‘we will work with you because you are active military’.” Cortez Masto said.

Airmen say the military is better at talking to young members about financial planning and avoiding scams. Technical Sergeant Philip Baziw has been in Air Force for 14 years. He says when he was a young airman he did not even know he was in financial trouble.

“When I first came in, I got a paycheck of $870. I thought: ‘Wow! I am on top of the world here. I could buy whatever I want.’ Nobody was really there to guide me along,” he said. “When I was a young airman, I did not know when I was in trouble in a couple of instances. It takes a lot to call for help.”

Many members of the military do not report being scammed to their superiors. Cortez Masto reminded the men and women at Wednesday’s gathering that calls made to the attorney general’s office about financial fraud will remain confidential.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a website with information about avoiding scams.

 

Money / Finance