U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) today launched a new service to help veterans and their families report scams and fraud targeting American veterans and their survivors.
"As a veteran myself and a strong advocate for veterans care and benefits, I am outraged by recent reports of scammers misleading and stealing from America's elderly veterans. Predatory organizations are providing false and misleading information, claiming they can help veterans but are in fact only working to line their own pockets.
"Our office is working with the American Legion to gather information on these scams in order to help prevent scammers from "poaching' on our veterans and their families, and we need your help. Have you, a friend, or family member been targeted by scammers? Please tell us your story so we can help shut these scams down."
Rooney noted that many of the predatory organizations have official-sounding names that make it appear they are affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They promise VA Aid and Attendance benefits to those who are well over the VA Pension income limit by promising to "divert" their assets. Some charge for helping file a claim, even though no one can charge a fee for helping a veteran file a VA claim. Others say they will provide free assistance, but their goal is to gain clients and sell other services, falsely claiming that purchasing their products will help veterans qualify for more VA assistance. Some have even urged elderly veterans to sell their homes in order to purchase more of their products and services.