DoD

July 17, 2014

DoD official provides consumer tips on avoiding scammers

Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Terri Moon Cronk

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON – Service members and their families can be easy targets for scammers, and financial education is key to prevention, the deputy director of the Pentagon’s office of family policy and children and youth said.

In an interview with DoD News, Navy Cmdr. Peter Hoegel noted that July 16 was Military Consumer Protection Day.

The observance is part of the long-term Financial Readiness Campaign, in which DoD, the Federal Trade Commission and many other organizations highlight efforts to protect service members and their families.

“Military members are trustworthy and trusting members of society who work hard, have a regular income, and they want to be helpful and serve,” Hoegel said. “Unfortunately, it makes them a target for unscrupulous people who are trying to get into their pockets.” Other service member vulnerabilities include frequent relocation, separation from family and friends, and deployment stresses.

Identity theft is the No. 1 crime affecting service members and their families, Hoegel said. “We want to make sure folks understand the scope of the problem and just how cunning some [scammers] are, trying to get their hands on personal and financial information,” he added. “[Identity theft] can be a tremendous drain. You have to understand how scammers come at you and how to protect yourself.”

“The Military Consumer website contains resources to raise awareness and explain the details of scams and other things service members and families can fall prey to, and how to avoid them,” Hoegel said, noting that financial scammers can harm military families stateside and overseas, particularly where language and cultural barriers exist.

Financial stability is a DoD priority, he added, and leaders believe that a service member’s sound financial readiness is critical to mission readiness. The department’s financial readiness resources are available to help service members and families plan budgets, spend accordingly, save for retirement and emergencies, and “get ahead of the curve to give people the tools and knowledge they need before they’re scammed or taken advantage of,” Hoegel said.

“We want to make sure they’re thinking ahead and getting their financial affairs in order before scamming becomes an issue,” he added.

 

Cmdr Hoegel cited the following statistics from the FTC:

– In the past 12 months, 43 percent of service members or their spouses experienced a financial shortfall; this number was 51 percent in the E-1 to E-4 ranks;

– 21 percent of E-1s to E-4s have no emergency savings fund, and another 9 percent have less than $100 in emergency savings;

– 33 percent of service members describe their financial condition as difficult, and 20 percent say their condition is worse than it was 12 months ago;

– A recent study shows financial education had positive results for service members’ retirement savings and other financial issues; and

– In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission received nearly 73,000 complaints from military consumers. Identity theft topped the list with 22,00 complaints, and others concerned debt collection, imposter scams, bank, lender and credit bureau issues, information furnishers and report users, and auto-related complaints.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin