Maybe it’s a “We Support Our Troops” sign at the front of your business or a special discount for members of the military. There are lots of ways companies try to show appreciation to servicemembers and their families. If Veterans Day has you thinking about how to say “thank you” for their sacrifice, the FTC has an easy first step: Honor their legal rights.
1. This summer — just in time to mark the 10th anniversary of the national Do Not Call Registry — the FTC announced a record-settling $7.5 million settlement against a mortgage broker for allegedly illegal telemarketing that targeted servicemembers. Offering special deals or discounts for military families is one thing. But singling them out for deceptive practices? Don’t get us started.
2. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) grants well-deserved considerations, including consumer protections, for military personnel. Just a few examples: special provisions regarding credit card debt, mortgage payments, and leases. Servicemembers honor their obligations while on active duty. Are you honoring yours under the SCRA?
3. Thinking about making a donation to a group that says it helps veterans or military families? Some scammers use patriotic names, seals, or logos, but are really in it for themselvces. Others use paid fundraisers that pocket the lion's share of donations and pass pennies on to those in need. Read Charitable Solicitions for Vet & Military Families for tips on how to tell the champs from the cheats.
4. The FTC has free consumer protection resources for military families. Whether it’s tips for vets about steering clear of pension poachers, ID theft advice that addresses the unique challenges facing military personnel, or suggestions on making the best use of educational benefits at a college or vocational school, we have a topical title. Do your part by linking to materials from your website and sharing publications with veterans or servicemembers in your community.
5. Last year the FTC received more than 62,000 consumer complaints from military families. If you know someone with a service connection who has been harmed by a shady business practice or affected by identity theft, tell them to sound off by filing a complaint with the FTC.