January 2014 l Volume IV l Issue 1 


Servicemembers, You Have New Mortgage Protections in 2014

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Airmen train using a baton on McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Jan. 11, 2014. Security Forces must keep their certification in nonlethal weapons as part of their yearly requirements. The airmen are assigned to the 169th Security Forces Squadron, South Carolina Air National Guard. U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago

BBB Military Line is especially grateful to our 
*Sustaining Partners* 
whose support allows us to provide Consumer Education and Advocacy for members of the Military Community.  
Please visit our Sponsors Page for more information.    


BBB CEOs (left to right):


Bernardo Rodriguez - Mexico City, Mexico

John O'Hara - Jackson, MS

Greg Dunn - Honolulu, HI

Elea Katzele - Spokane, WA

Matt Barrett - Colorado Springs, CO

Brian Baca - Albuquerque, NM

Stephanie Knight - Mobile, AL

Claire Rosenzweig - Metro New York, NY

Janna Kiehl - Amarillo, TX

Tim Maniscalo - Indianapolis, IN 


Who is interested in BBB Military Line and bringing this important consumer education and advocacy program to their areas? BBB CEOs are ---that's who! Seven top BBB leaders from across the country attended a full day BBB Military Line executive level training as part of their New CEO Orientation. And the training did not disappoint!

Strong leaders 'LIKE' strong leaders and the first to address the group was seasoned Army Garrison Commander, COL Fern Sumpter from Joint Base Myer/Henderson Hall. COL Sumpter provided a wide overview of what it's like to command multiple military installations and all of the rewards and challenges she faces everyday. 
Our director, Brenda Linnington, followed with a detailed overview of the BBB Military Line program. She highlighted its tremendous outreach growth in recent years due to local BBB participation and discussed the various pitfalls military consumers often face. She not only discussed unique marketplace vulnerabilities for this important segment of our population, but spent time highlighting the tremendous strength and contributions of military families.

The rest of the day long training was devoted to learning how to bring BBB Military Line to local BBB service areas and the solid content our program has to offer. Our new CEOs experienced a "Smart Consumer "financial workshop first hand and learned ways in which to reach out to military consumers in their areas. All would agree-it was a great day!


U.S. and Dutch paratroopers join forces for airborne operations over Sicily Drop Zone on Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 9, 2014. A total of 220 soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team and the Dutch army's 11th Airmobile Brigade jumped from CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The American troops earned foreign jump wings as a Dutch jump master ushered them out. In turn, an American jumpmaster guided the Dutch troops off the back ramp. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. April Campbell



Servicemembers, You Have New Mortgage Protections in 2014A

It's no secret that the housing crisis in recent years was particularly hard on military families. Servicemembers and their spouses at installations around the country, and even abroad, cited problems with mortgages as some of their most serious financial challenges. But now, the CFPB has written new mortgage rules that can help.

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Military Slightly Better With Money Management

Military members have a better understanding of financial issues than the average civilian, but they still have problems related to credit card and mortgage debt. b

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Lawmakers Write Bills to Fight COLA Drop
Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are making it clear they intend to put up a fight to stop reduced cost of living adjustment for military retirees under the age of 62.

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Make 2014 Your Year of Financial Independence 

Starting Outers, a new year is nearly upon us, and it's time for some "real talk." We're adults now, but, for some of us, whether intentional or not, our finances remain trapped in adolescence. Do you still rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad for emergency bailouts? Is your career stuck on the entry level? Have you started saving for retirement? 

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Special Duty Assignment Pay Changes for Some

Some Soldiers receiving special duty assignment pay, or SDAP, are now seeing an increase in payments or seeing it for the first time, while others will soon see less.

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Know Thy Scammerc

Just when you thought it was safe to go the mailbox, answer a text message, open email or even answer the phone: there's a scammer on the other end slyly reaching into places they shouldn't! BBB recommends safeguarding your wallet, personal information, mail and online presence carefully as potential thieves continue their relentless pursuit of crime and destruction with the following scams. 

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9 Ways to Prevent Tax Identity Theftd

Ready for tax season? If you haven't heard about tax identity theft, you may not be. In honor of the FTC's Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week (January 13 - 17, 2014), Better Business Bureau is urging tax payers to get in the know.  

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Identity Theft and Your Child

Children make tempting targets for identity thieves. The reasons are clear-a child's identity is a blank slate, and childhood identity theft is likely to go undetected for years. By then, the damage may be extensive. But there is some good news-by understanding the issue and looking out for warning signs, parents can catch identity theft early and undo the harm before it impacts their child's future.

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Don't Call Back that Number on Your Cell Phone

Answering or calling unknown numbers can cost you. Better Business Bureau is warning cell phone users about a new scam that can result in unauthorized charges appearing on their monthly wireless statement.

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Magic Pill is Not What it Seems 

So, it would seem the quick and easy fix to weight loss doesn't come in a pill, shaker bottle, mix or some weird organic combination. In fact, according to the FTC, if you fell prey to the claims of Sensa Products, LLC; L'Occitane, Inc.; HCG Diet Direct; and LeanSpa, LLC chances are you were indeed a victim of false advertising. Now these companies are paying millions of dollars in fees for false claims they help consumers easily and quickly lose weight or have a tighter, firmer complexion without lifting doing a single sit up or changing a single calorie. Beauty is only skin deep after all. Right? 

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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.