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March 2012, VOL II, Issue 13 
In This Month's Issue

$51 for 2 Minutes: German Pay Phones Anger Troops 

 

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Members of Air Force Special Operations weather teams participate in a training scenario on a CH-47 Chinook during Emerald Warrior at Hurlburt Field, Fla., on March 7, 2012. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Clay Lancaster, U.S. Air Force. 

 

SCAM ALERTS!  

 

Debt-Collector Scam Bilked Millions   

A phone scam in which callers in India posed as debt collectors bilked millions of dollars out of more than 10,000 U.S. residents by using threats of arrest or the loss of their jobs, U.S. authorities said Tuesday in what they described as a first-of-its-kind investigation.
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Scammers use Microsoft's Name to Gain Access to Consumer's Computer

Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers of a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from Microsoft. The caller offers to solve a consumer's computer problems or sell him or her a software license, all in an effort to gain remote control access to the consumer's computer.   

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BBB Advice on Giving to Tornado Relief Charities

Americans seeing the devastation wreaked by recent tornadoes are responding with generous gifts of time and money, as they've traditionally responded to disasters throughout the world. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers  five tips to help Americans decide where to direct donations.  

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MILITARY CONSUMER
ISSUES & INITIATIVES
 

$51 for 2 Minutes: German Pay Phones Anger Troops  

When Spe cialist Reynald Matias was heading to Afghanistan with his Army unit late last year, their chartered flight stopped to refuel at Leipzig-Halle Airport in Germany. During a brief layover, he called his wife in Tacoma, Wash., using his debit card on a pay phone in the terminal's troops-only transit lounge. strategies

 

Sen. Franken Introduces Bill to Protect Veterans from Unscrupulous For-Profit Colleges

 U.S. Sen. Al Franken has introduced legislation - the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act (MVEP) - to close a loophole that allows for-profit colleges to take advantage of American taxpayers and exploit our nation's service members and veterans.

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DOD Spotlights Value of Financial Fitness    

Citing the potentially devastating impact of financial issues on career and home life, officials are encouraging troops and their families to build financial fitness by kick-starting a savings plan and reducing their debt.  

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Tips and Support to Get Out from Under Your Debt Burden

A better credit score, less stress, and the financial freedom to keep more of your money for yourself-these are just a few of the benefits of paying down your debt. Reducing or eliminating debt also contributes to financial readiness, helping service members focus on the mission at hand instead of worrying about the finances at home. The sooner you address any debt issues, the better, so take control, make a plan, and get started on getting rid of your debt.

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Top Military Money Mistakes  money
You've been fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban for what seems like an eternity and doing it thousands of miles away. In exchange, the military provides a steady paycheck, fashionable clothes, and food and shelter. And, if you hang in there long enough, you stand to earn a pension -- for most, at the tender age of 40-something. You're set, right? Not so fast, Ranger Bob.

You have a good deal, but you have to keep up your end of the bargain, too, so all that goodness will continue and extend into your "old soldier" years. 

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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Joshua Brooks greets students at the school in Khan Neshin, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 25, 2012. Brooks is assigned to Team 3, Civil Affairs Detachment 11-2. The Marines of Team 3 are providing guidance to the regional government and are helping them construct a new school.  DoD photo by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes, U.S. Marine Corps.
As a partner in the Joining Forces Initiative and DOD Financial Readiness Campaign, BBB Military Line brings BBB consumer education and services to military personnel (including Reservists and National Guard), retirees, DoD civilians, and their families.