FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Scams targeting veterans are on the rise.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers claim to be with the government and promise grants to veterans.

“It is horrible that they are targeting anybody but particularly veterans,” said Central California BBB President Blair Looney. “We hear about the PTSD that these individuals have so when they are offered help they are quick to respond to these things.”

Veterans across the nation have put their lives on the line to protect our country, but deceiving scammers promising grants are targeting these heroes’ pocketbooks.

“One of the things they do is they play on your emotions,” said Looney.

Here is how the scam works. A con artist claims to be with the government. They reach out to the veteran via mail, over the phone, or messenger stating the veteran qualifies for a special grant or program for veterans.

The program, which they say can help you pay for loans, mortgage, or living expenses, has no strings attached. All you have to do is give your social security number, veteran’s number, and pay a fee.

“They are offering you free money so why would you be paying a fee?” questioned Looney. “Oh, it is a processing fee. I am sorry but the veteran’s department, the government, does not charge a processing fee.”

Looney said in some cases, the scammer has convinced a veteran to pay $900 in fee charges. In the end, the veterans learn the grant is fake.

“It is important to do your research and do not give information away,” said Looney. “The government already knows you from the veteran’s administration. What your military ID is. What your ID number is. What your socials is. They don’t need you to verify. They should be giving it to you to verify.”

To avoid the scam:

  1. Do your research
  2. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
  3. Don’t give into pressure
  4. Never pay a fee
  5. Never give out personal information

If you do fall victim to the scam, Looney said to report the loss right away.

BBB imposter scams study.

How to avoid imposter scams.