Saluting Military Consumer Protection Day

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Members of the military face unique consumer protection challenges.  For example, when the brakes go or the basement floods, it’s not easy to find trustworthy local businesses if you’re new in town.  And deployments, TDYs, and relocations can make it tougher to spot the early signs of identity theft.  So what can your business do to make things easier for military families?

How about lending your company’s support to Military Consumer Protection Day on Wednesday, July 17th? It’s a concrete way to express your appreciation for what they do on our behalf.  Some easy ways to start:  Add buttons and banners on your website to encourage awareness. Adapt sample messages designed for sharing on social networks or adding to your email signature.  Spread the word about the military consumer protection Know-How page packed with specially selected materials from federal and state agencies and non-profit partners on topics like buying a car, protecting your identity, and managing finances.  One notable feature:  in-depth articles on scams targeting the military.  (For example, have you read up on how some fraudsters are trying to poach veterans’ pensions?)

Active in a civic group or veterans’ organization?  Ask them to make Military Consumer Protection Day a pet project and encourage them to distribute free materials to military families and vets the other 364 days a year.

To continue the conversation about the unique issues facing servicemembers and their families, the FTC has been sponsoring a series of Twitter chats.  The next one is set for this afternoon, July 10th at 2:00 ET.  Joining us for the one-hour session with our partners from the Department of Defense’s Military One Source and Military Saves.  To participate, follow @FTC and tweet questions with the hashtags #mcpd or #MCPD.  The main topic is ID theft, but we’re open to whatever military consumer protection issues are on your mind.

While we’re on the subject, there’s something else companies can do to back up those “We Support Our Troops” slogans with real help for military families.  It should go without saying — but we’ll say it anyway — that Step #1 is not to target them for deception.  It’s a lousy practice to use double talk and half-truths to entice any consumer, but to single out people serving their country?  Don’t get us started.  Whether it’s from small companies outside the Main Gate or large corporations with substantial military clientele, military customers deserve a fair shake.


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