These scams target veterans and service members

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday warned veterans and armed services members that while Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served, it also can be a time for thieves to target you.

"Despite the nation's gratitude to these heroes, there are some who would like to make a buck off them," FTC staff attorney Carol Kando-Pineda said in the warning.

Among the ways those connected to the military can get taken, according to the FTC, include duping veterans into taking pension advances, being pressured to inappropriately use government education benefits and getting tricked into giving to veterans' groups that aren't what they appear to be.

Use caution when getting solicited by phone, and resist pressure to make a decision on the spot. It's always better to make a decision on your own terms.

The FTC also warns that con artists often masquerade as organizations dedicated to helping veterans and military families. The agency urges those who want to donate to charities that work with service members and veterans to verify the group's legitimacy before donating.

Many phony outfits, the FTC warns, have names that include "military" or "veteran" and might sound like established organizations. One way to check is to look at sites that review charity performance such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch and GuideStar

Also, in conjunction with other government agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Defense, the FTC produced the site Military Consumer to provide information to help service members and veterans avoid scams.

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    Mitch Lipka is an award-winning consumer columnist. He was in charge of consumer news for AOL's personal finance site and was a senior editor at Consumer Reports. He was also a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, among other publications.