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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

United States Attorney’s Office and U.S. Postal Inspection Service recognize the Operation Protect Veterans Program

ST. LOUIS – As you know, Veterans Day (November 11) is right around the corner. The United States Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, has teamed up with AARP for the Operation Protect Veterans program, which is working to educate veterans, their families and loved ones on scams targeting them.

Scammers are creating schemes specifically targeting veterans. An AARP survey shows veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be the victim of a scam.  78% of our retired military men and women have been targeted by schemes specifically crafted to exploit their military service. 

There are a variety of scams specifically targeting our veteran community, including the following:

-VA Loan Scam: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates

-Pension Poaching Scam: Scammers will offer veterans lump sum payments up front, in exchange for signing over all their future monthly benefit checks.

-Update Your File Scam: An imposter, claiming to be from a government agency, attempts to get a veteran’s personal information to “update their file” so they can maintain their benefits. 

These are just a few examples of the many scams out there targeting veterans. 

“Operation Protect Veterans,” https://www.uspis.gov/veterans, was created by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the AARP as a means of providing valuable information and resources to veterans and their loved ones and friends about these scams and many more.

These additional links provide more details on the fraud aimed at veterans and the general public. 

https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/81832/partnership-postal-inspection-service-helps-veterans-avoid-scams/

https://link.usps.com/2021/05/03/defensive-measures/

For further information on this important program and our partnership with the U. S. Postal Inspection Service to investigate and prosecute such egregious crimes against our veteran community please contact:

Inspector Matthew Villicana                or                 Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry

Mail Fraud/Money Laundering                                United States Attorney’s Office

United States Postal Inspection Service                   Eastern District of Missouri

1106 Walnut Street                                                   111 S. 10th Street

St. Louis, MO 63199                                                St. Louis, MO 63102

(314) 539-9347 (Office)                                           (314) 539-2550

Updated November 9, 2021