Consumer Alert: New scams targeting veterans and military families

MEMPHIS, Tenn. --The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is fighting against crooks who take advantage of the men and women who fought for us.

They've teamed up with the AARP for Operation Protect Veterans, a program designed to educate veterans and their families about scams targeting those who've served.

Research shows veterans are twice as likely to fall for fraudulent schemes.

Susan Link is a postal inspector in Memphis.

She told WREG of the crooks, "A lot of times they'll indicate that they are previous veterans themselves...they play on being a veteran."

In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Link and her colleagues visited the Memphis VAMC Tuesday and plan to continue warning area families about scams.

Link explained, "They're actually putting out information at the local post offices with information for the veterans and also for everyone else on how to protect themselves."

Common Scams Targeting Veterans:

"Also, mortgage fraud scams, where you're getting behind and possibly going into foreclosure, and you'll have somebody come and knock on your door and try to get you to sell your house to them and sign over the deed," said Link.

Active service members are targets too.

FTC: Reports by Military Consumers

According to the Federal Trade Commission, 114,000 military consumers filed complaints last year.

Most of them were related to fraud including: imposter scams, phone services and shop-from-home schemes.

"It could be their spouse who's trying to find a job while their loved one is working because they change positions or duty status and duty locations all the time," added Link of how scammers try to take advantage of military families.

Veterans who need to report scams can call 877-908-3360.