FTC Warns Veterans: Be Wary of Free Pension Advice

Tips for Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission warns veterans and their families:  Be wary of dishonest advisers offering “free” help with paperwork for pension claims.

Unscrupulous lawyers, financial planners and insurance agents advise veterans over 65 to transfer their assets to a trust, or to invest in insurance products, so they can qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits.  By following their advice, you could lose your eligibility for Medicaid services and the use of your money for a long time, plus get billed for fees that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Whether it’s through an ad or a website, these offers usually involve a free seminar, often at assisted living facilities, senior centers, or other places in your community.  They may claim to be veterans themselves, and appeal to your emotions to get you to act.  Consider any pressure to act fast as your cue to say no.  Your best bet is to take your time, do some research, and consider all your options, including doing nothing.

To learn more, read the FTC’s Poaching Veterans’ Pensions.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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