I-TEAM: New federal taskforce to help veterans after fraud scams cost them $414 million last year

Here are some quotes about veterans from people across the decades in honor of the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. military.

WASHINGTON — After serving our country, veterans are still facing threats - this time from scammers.

These schemes aren’t limited to phishing emails, phone calls or fake websites. Veterans service organizations say scammers are even visiting their posts.

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“It is a very real issue. Veterans seem to be a prime target,” said Joe Chenelly, national executive director for American Veterans (AMVETS).

Joe Chenelly hears about many of these scams almost every day.

“We’ve had veterans who’ve lost pretty much their entire life savings at time,” he said.

A Federal Trade Commission report shows veterans, military personnel, and their families filed 93,000 fraud complaints last year alone. Those schemes cost them more than $414 million.

Chenelly said it may be months before veterans realize they’ve been robbed by a scammer.

“They’re stealing veteran social security and their VA disability compensation at same time and suddenly they’re in a homeless situation,” he said.

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The Biden administration is now launching a new taskforce to help tackle this issue.

It will work with Department of Veterans Affairs along with veterans and military service organizations to help raise awareness. This includes issuing new toolkits with information about scams involving health care, finances, housing, employment and education.

“We have 1,200 posts across the United States. That’s 1,200 communities that we can bring that message to along with the other veteran service organizations that are doing the same thing,” said Chenelly.

The VA will also release videos outlining the different kinds of scams targeting veterans and their families.

You can also find more information about veteran-related scams here.

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