Attorney General warns soldiers about being fraud targets - WRBL

Attorney General warns soldiers about being fraud targets

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. -

North Carolina's attorney general was at Fort Bragg Tuesday warning service members who protect our country that they also need to protect themselves from consumer fraud.

He hosted an educational session he calls a "scam jam."

"I'm young. I don't know all this stuff," Commented Pfc. Marissa Makinano. "It's pretty amazing the wide variety of, I guess scams, that there are. I didn't realize that there would be so many different ways that it could happen.

So the session on consumer fraud was a real eye-opener for her and other soldiers. Spc. Christina Avila was also surprised by some of the things she heard.

"We're protecting our country, and for them to attack us is like, why are you attacking us? We're here to protect you," Avila said.

But young soldiers are prime targets for people or businesses wanting to swindle them.

"[They] realize that many of them are away from home for the first time, they have a steady paycheck, and some may be unsophisticated about financial affairs," Attorney General Roy Cooper said.

The soldiers got warnings about how their military benefits often attract people looking to take advantage of them, whether that is stealing credit card information or any number of tricks that will cost them more when buying a car or taking out a loan. There was even a warning about a growing problem with for-profit colleges.

"[They're] charging you a lot of money and not giving you the credentials you need," Cooper said.

While fraud can be a particular concern for the military, the advice to help prevent it is pretty universal - protect your personal info and never let yourself be pressured into a financial decision Cooper said.

"You know that they see actual cases like this so it's nice that they come to basically warn you," Makinano said.

 Cooper has also visited Camp Lejeune and Seymour Johnson Air Force base to host similar sessions.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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