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Military Members At Greater Risk Of Falling Victim To Scams

U.S. Army

A new report by the Better Business Bureau looked at more than 28,000 business complaints and 5,000 scam reports submitted to the organization in 2018 by military consumers.

It compared that data to complaints submitted by the general public.

Stephanie Garland, the BBB Springfield Regional director, said the study finds that military consumers face unique challenges that can result in higher median losses to scammers and other marketplace fraud.

"Military consumers are often forced to make a quicker purchasing decision because they're during a Permanent Change of Station move," she said, "so, a lot of times this is something that's happening very quickly and they're under pressure to find a new home, find a new place to live, find a new part-time job for the husband or wife whoever is not active duty."

Garland said military members have lost more money to home improvement scammers because many don’t have time to do the necessary research beforehand.

Employment scams were the riskiest scams for military members in 2018, according to the BBB, the same as for all consumers.  But median monetary losses for military consumers were $2460—more than double that of all consumers.

Garland said, to avoid being scammed, go to to research companies.  And heed the saying, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

If you’re the victim of a scam, she said, go to to report it.  That information is also shared with law enforcement. 

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.