The top scams affecting veterans, families and how to avoid them

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In this Tuesday, July 3, 2018, photo, a Pakistani recruit, 22, who was recently discharged from the U.S. Army, holds an American flag as he poses for a picture. The man asked his name and location to be undisclosed for safety reasons. The AP interviewed three recruits from Brazil, Pakistan and Iran, all of whom said they were devastated by their unexpected discharges. (AP Photo/Mike Knaak)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The nation just honored its veterans, but unfortunately, crooks work year round to scam those who served and active service members.

Why? Because military veterans and their families often have steady incomes and benefits.

Here are some of the top scams and ways to combat these crooks:

Employment scams

Employment scams are always ways a problem. If you see a job posting, go to the company’s real website to make sure its legit. High salaries for little work are always a red flag and so are are those work from home deals that involve depositing money and sending back a portion.

If they tell you to do that it’s a scam.

Benefit scams

Keep an eye out for benefit scams. Scammers will sometimes offer to buy a veteran out of their benefits, but these buyouts are often a fraction of the benefit’s worth.

Also, never pay someone to access military records. This is all available for free.

Finally watch out for imposters claiming to be associated with the Veterans Choice Program. Crooks use fake numbers and ask veterans for payment information in exchange for a rebate.

Moving/rental scams

Because military families move around so much, rental and moving scams are prevalent.

First, be wary of paying cash or wiring money. Try to always meet the landlord in person before paying, but if for some reason the landlord won’t allow you to visit the property in advance, that’s a red flag too.

Also, if someone calls or knocks on your door promoting assistance to access your benefits, that’s probably a scam.

Charity scams

Another one to watch out for are charity scams. Crooks will try to dupe families out of their money by saying it’s supporting other veterans or military.

Always do your research before donating.

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