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The Better Business Bureau has identified a number of scams aimed at military personnel, particularly elderly veterans, that ramp up just before Memorial Day.
Here are a handful of scams aimed at military personnel.
Military loans -- Loans may promise guaranteed approval but come with hidden fees and high interest rates. Loans that require upfront fees are probably fraudulent.
Veterans' benefits buyout plans -- These offer a cash payment in exchange for a veteran's future benefits or pension payments. Veterans end up with about 30 to 40 percent of what they are entitled to.
Fake rental property or cars -- Online scammers use stolen photos of real properties or cars and promise military discounts or claim a car is owned by a service member who is facing quick deployment. After wiring money to the scammer, the victim receives nothing.
Life insurance -- Military personnel are often targets of high-pressure sales pitches for expensive policies.
Phony jury duty summons -- A caller claims the service member failed to show up for jury duty and a warrant has been issued for the person's arrest. To remedy the matter, scammers attempt to extract personal information from the service member.
To read more about BBB resources for service members, including scam alerts, a military e-newsletter and complaint and dispute resolution services, go to the BBB Military Line.
Some victims of a collection of schemes that defrauded consumers out of almost $29 million will get a refund of as much as 80 percent of their losses, the Federal Trade Commission announced this week.
The FTC has settled with four perpetrators of the schemes, some of which falsely claimed through websites that they could help consumers get free government grant money. Some sites used patriotic images, including images of the President, to imply that they were affiliated with the government.
The FTC won summary judgement against the remaining 25 defendents, consisting of both individuals and corporations. An administrator with the FTC began mailing $1.7 million in refunds to 23,000 known victims of the government grant schemes, which included "Grant Connect."
A California district judge has preliminarily approved a settlement that will allow parents to receive a refund of at least $5 if their children made in-app purchases on "free" computer games without parental consent, the web site Top Class Actions reported.
A Federal Trade Commission investigation found that game developers were advertising free games on iTunes, but then charging kids to buy "gaming currency," such as virtual supplies or currency. With a single click and without any password requirement, children could charge $100 or more to accountholders' credit cards or PayPal accounts, Top Class Action said.
Details on filing a claim haven't been announced yet but interested consumers can check back to Whistleblower for information when it becomes available. The filing deadline is July 31.
A bicycle manufacturer is recalling certain forks, the components that attach the wheels to the bicycle frame, because the forks could bend above the disk brake mount, causing the rider to fall.
Surly Bikes, of Bloomington, announced the recall on Tuesday, calling for customers who bought certain Surly Pugsley 100mm and 135mm forks to bring them to a Surly dealer for replacement or refund.
The 100mm recalled forks were sold individually, not pre-attached to a bicycle. They are black and have triple water-bottle mounts on each side, rack and fender mounts and have a stamped date code of 2012 03 20.
The 135mm forks were sold individually and as part of some 2013 model bicycles. They came in black, yellow and red and are stamped with date code of 2012 06 19.
The forks, imported from Tiawan, were sold nationwide from May 2012 to February 2013 for about $100 individually.
In that same period, assembled bikes with model number FM3110-3114, FM3175-79, BK 3110-14 or BK3175-79 contained the affected parts and sold for about $1,750.
For more information, call 877-946-9333 or go online to www.surlybikes.com.
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