The Trusted Scout header     
May 2013 l Volume III l Issue 5 
 

IN THIS MONTH'S EDITION:

  

Financial Literacy Boosts Confidence in Military Families, First Command Reports

 

 Citi and Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University Launch "Realizing Your Dream" Business Plan Competition for Veterans

 

BBB Cautions on Fundraising to Assist Cleveland Kidnap Victims

 

Beware of Memorial Day Scams Aimed at Military Personnel


PICTURE OF THE MONTH

 

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Liskey inspects an F/A-18 Hornet before a flight during morning operations in Pensacola, Fla., May 8, 2013. Liskey is assigned to the 

Blue Angels, the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. 

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lindsey

 

BBB MILITARY LINE *SUSTAINING PARTNER* SPOTLIGHT


 

Many thanks to The McGraw-Hill Companies for supporting BBB Military Line and for sponsoring our financial readiness efforts on behalf of all military consumers around the world.  Visit the new McGraw-Hill/BBB financial literacy website for military consumers at www.militaryandmoney.com and download the free smart phone app "Military&Money" from iTunes and Google play.  

 

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 SCAM ALERTS!

 

CBeware of Memorial Day Scams Aimed at Military Personnel

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who serve and remember those who have died in war. But sadly, it has also become a key opportunity for scammers to target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly veterans. As Memorial Day approaches, the Better Business Bureau urges consumers and donors to be aware of scammers that feed off the military.

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FBI Issues Cyber Security Advisory That Could Impact All Users of Microsoft Explorer 8

Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging all consumers and businesses to pay close attention to a Cyber Security Advisory issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 browser (IE8) that could allow scammers to access and take over users' computers. The risk for all users - home, business and government - is high, and BBB is urging anyone with IE8 to follow the recommended steps to address the problem.

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Official Warns of Predatory Businesses, Offers Airmen Finance Tips

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Holly Petraeus, the head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discussed predatory business practices and personal financial tips with the military community here May 6.

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Don't "Reset Your Password" in the Latest Round of Fake PayPal Emails 

Once again, PayPal users are being victimized by a round of fake emails impersonating the PayPal service. This scam claims that the recipient's PayPal account is being put on hold until their password is reset. 

WHO WE SERVE


 

Marine Corps Cpl. Travis Greene and Lance Cpl. Brandon Malone practice sitting volleyball with their Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment sitting volleyball teammates in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 30, 2013. 

DOD photo by Marvin Lynchard

 

MILITARY CONSUMER 

ISSUES & INITIATIVES

 

AFinancial Literacy Boosts Confidence in Military Families, First Command Reports

FORT WORTH, Texas, Apr 25, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A high level of financial knowledge is associated with feelings of emotional well-being in middle-class military families, reinforcing the value of financial education in the armed forces.

 

Results of a financial literacy test and survey jointly commissioned by First Command Financial Services, Inc., and First Command Educational Foundation reveal that military test takers who earn a perfect score are more likely than those with low scores to report feeling:

 

-- Financially secure month to month (62 percent versus 29 percent of lower scorers)

 

-- Not being financially stretched month to month (64 percent versus 33 percent)

 

-- Confidence in their ability to retire comfortably (41 percent versus 31 percent)

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EConsumer Protection Bureau Releases Common Financial Complaints Among Servicemembers and Veterans

Did you know we've received more than 5,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their families? By and large, statistics for complaints submitted by the military track with those of the population at large. But these complaint statistics aren't just numbers to us: they represent military members and their families and we know the impact consumer financial issues can have on their quality of life.

Read more

 

BBBB Cautions on Fundraising to Assist Cleveland Kidnap Victims

The rescue this week of three women and a child from a Cleveland home where they were held captive for a decade has gained worldwide attention. Generous donors wishing to help the victims are being cautioned by Better Business Bureau to confirm the legitimacy of all charitable fundraising and crowdfunding efforts.

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Citi and Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University Launch "Realizing Your Dream" Business Plan Competition for Veterans

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Citi and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) today announced the launch of the Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream Business Competition, a call for veterans who are established or aspiring entrepreneurs to submit formal small business plans in hopes of receiving a share of $130,000 in available seed funding. The announcement was made during the Chicago offering of the IVMF's Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program, a three-day conference and collaborative partnership between the IVMF and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that is anchoring IVMF Women Veterans Week Chicago. Citi is a co-sponsor of V-WISE Chicago.

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Career Planning for the Military Spouse

If you're a military spouse (or soon to be a military spouse) then by now you're probably pretty used to life being somewhat...unpredictable. Add to that the difficulty of building a career while you're constantly on the move and suddenly it might feel like you have no control over your own life.
Read more

 SCAM ALERTS Continued...

 
Debt Settlement Callers: Just Say No
The New York Times reported today on a case of what appears to be a huge debt settlement fraud, and offers BBB advice on what to do if you get a call from such a server. Here is part of the story by personal finance blogger Ann Carrns:

"It may sound like a solution: You are mired in debt and a telemarketer calls, offering to help reduce the amount you owe, in exchange for a fee.

But consumers should be very wary of such calls, said Claire Rosenzweig, president and chief executive of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York. "If someone just willy-nilly calls you and says they can reduce your debt, just don't do it," she said. The better choice is to hang up and do your own research about the legitimate resources that are available to help you," she said. "Then, you can initiate your own call, once you are comfortable with an agency's credentials.

Debt settlement firms typically offer to negotiate with creditors in exchange for a fee. But you can often do that yourself at no cost, she said, and in most cases, it makes sense to use the money you would pay to the settlement firm to pay down your debt directly.

Most settlement firms charge a fee, and some hold your money while they negotiate with creditors. But consumers' credit ratings may suffer in the interim, and they may ultimately may wind up further in debt if the firm doesn't follow through. In the worst case scenario, firms may take your money and do nothing."

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.