Veterans A Scam Target

In 2023, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 192,000 reports of fraud, identity theft, and other consumer issues from active duty military personnel, retirees, veterans, reserve and National Guard forces, and family members.

Whether they encounter scams or unfair business practices, current and former service members and their families can count on the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for help.

“July is Military Consumer Protection Month, and DATCP recognizes the unique circumstances faced by consumers who are serving, or previously served, in our armed forces,” says DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “Unfortunately, they are often targeted by scammers hoping to take advantage of their distinct culture, tight-knit community, and in the case of active duty service members, their busy lives and distance from home.”

In 2023, more than one in three reports to the FTC from military consumers indicated they lost money to fraud. Reports show more than $477 million in losses in total, with $350 million taken from military retirees and veterans. With more than 42,000 reports, the top fraud category was imposter scams. Online shopping fraud followed with more than 13,000 reports. The third top category, investment-related scams, received just under 4,000 reports. But those reports indicated the highest median losses of $7,000.

Last year, there were more than 39,000 reports of identity theft. Active duty servicemembers are nearly three times more likely than the general public to report theft directly from their bank accounts. Rapid response is key to recovering from identity theft. This makes servicemembers more vulnerable if their duties prevent them from quickly identifying and addressing the problem. Consider setting up fraud alerts on your credit cards and a security freeze on your credit report.

Learn more about identity theft:

Learn more about imposter scams: