FTC hosts military consumer financial workshop

SAN ANTONIO – The Federal Trade Commission hosted a workshop Wednesday at Trinity University on financial issues and scams that can affect military consumers.

“Protecting those who protect our nation” featured remarks by FTC acting chairman Maureen Ohlhausen.

“They move a lot and that can cause them to be a victim of identity theft,” she said.

Ohlhausen spoke to local and national military organizations about different scams.

“Some of them are imposter scams where someone who is pretending to be part of the military or part of an affiliation or affiliated organization for charity scams,” Ohlhausen said. “Lending issues come up a lot between financing and leasing a car, buying a home, credit, debt collection issues, are some of the areas we heard concerns.”

Ohlhausen said they have collected more than 100,000 consumer complaints from retirees, current service members and families.

“Military people have particular characteristics that can make them more vulnerable. They move a lot and that can cause a problem. They can be a victim of identity theft because a lot of people handle their information,” Ohlhausen said.

Ohlhausen said military families should shred important documents and pay close attention to their credit reports.

“Are there account that you are not aware of. If you are being deployed you can put a flag on your credit report,” Ohlhausen said.

Other tips include not giving personal information to strangers, knowing how to handle a robocall and reading your bank and credit statements frequently.

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