12 Defenders: BBB says scammers target military members

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Scammers are going after the people who fight to keep our country safe, according to officials with the Better Business Bureau.

"These military families sacrifice a lot to protect the freedom of our country," said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama. "What they did not sign up for is to be scammed."

Smitherman says military families are often targeted because they have a guaranteed income, often young and financially inexperienced, and many times one spouse is deployed. He wants to make sure scammers don't get ahold of their personal information.

"Be particularly careful if a loan comes out of the blue or if the offer says guaranteed. You can't guarantee a person's loan until you see their credit history. Also, watch out for upfront fees, it's against the law."

There are also some things military families can do to stay out of debt.

"I see almost everywhere I go, outside the gates of a military installation, title loan places. That often times starts a downward spiral that you can't get out of."

Smitherman says before going that route, check for assistance from your local United Way or financial service help on base. If you do get scammed or have questions, check out the Better Business Bureau website or give them a call.

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