Consumer Advocate: Protecting military families the focus of July’s Military Consumer Month

Did you know that July is designated as Military Consumer Month? According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Military Consumer Month is an annual observance to increase awareness of consumer protections and financial readiness for servicemembers, veterans, and military families.

Sadly, military families make numerous sacrifices for our country, but as a result of their service, they often face some unique financial challenges. The 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report showed that the number of active-duty military exposed to a scam was nearly identical to the percentage of the general population reporting monetary loss, but the susceptibility of active-duty military was about 42% higher than that of the overall population.

Also, according to the 2021 Online Shopping Scam Report, more than 10% of online purchase scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker came from the military community. Active-duty military (78.3%) and military spouses (75.2%) were more likely to report losing money to these scam types than non-military consumers. More concerning, though, is that the median dollar loss for all military consumers—active duty ($178), military spouses ($119), and veterans ($139)—is higher than non-military consumers ($100).

The good news is that there are simple steps military members and their families can take to help reduce the risk of online shopping scams:

To learn more about Military Consumer Protection Month, visit BBB.org/Military or www.militaryconsumer.gov. If you see a scam, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Whether you’ve lost money or not, your story could help others avoid a scam.