January 10, 2017
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Public Information Officer – Officer Brittany Wallace
Veterans' benefits and their pensions are the latest targets of the scammers preying on the elderly. There are a few variations of this scam. In this scam that has been making the rounds, elderly retired veterans are being targeted, some getting financially destroyed by shameless scammers out to make a quick buck. How does the scam work?
The scam involves convincing veterans to transfer their assets into a special trust account and then charging exorbitant fees to help facilitate the completion and processing of the lengthy, complicated paperwork. Sadly, this scam not only is used to bilk these people out of their pensions but also has a ripple effect in other ways, such as losing Medicaid eligibility and other assistance program benefits. In this scam, criminals posing as attorneys or financial advisors extend an offer to assist the veteran with their pension allocations. They will try to convince the veteran to put their assets into trust accounts or to make investments into certain insurance products. The asset reallocation, the veterans are told, allows them to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits. In reality, this is not true and in fact, will cause the veteran to be ineligible for Medicaid and other health benefits programs. On top of this, the scammers are charging these veterans thousands of dollars for these worthless services and advice.
Awareness of the scam is the number one best way to prevent it from happening. Be sure to tell all the retired veterans you know of this scam to keep them from being victimized.
Be aware that the veterans' benefits application process is a free service. There is never a fee to apply, and there are many organizations that can assist with the completion of this often lengthy and complicated paperwork. Finally, if you do decide to hire a financial advisor for assistance and advice, find a reputable consultant with an excellent background and impeccable references.
If you feel you have been a victim of this scam please contact the Marietta Police Department Anonymous Tip Line @ 770-794-6990, Crime Stoppers @404-577-TIPS or the Federal Trade Commission @ 1-877-FTC-HELP