Florida's military, veterans getting more protection against scammers

Attorney General launches 'Military and Veterans Assistance Program'

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Service members, military veterans and their families are often targeted by scammers, and now Florida's Attorney General is doing something new to help protect all of them.

Today, Attorney General Pam Bondi launched the Military and Veterans Assistance Program or MVAP. It's a new consumer protection program that will directly assist the military and veteran communities with consumer protection-related issues.

“Florida has more than 90,000 active duty and reserve military members and more than 1.5 million veterans,” said Bondi. “To the men and women who have put on a uniform to protect our country, we will continue to do everything we can to protect you from these scammers. As Memorial Day approaches at the end of this month, I am honored to have the opportunity to assist the heroes who lay their lives on the line to keep us safe.”

Members of Bondi’s MVAP team will provide resources and information to base JAG officers, county veteran service officers and other organizations across the state to help service members and veterans learn how to protect themselves from scams and file complaints.

Bondi says the MVAP team will also:

  • Partner with military and veteran leadership statewide to provide education regarding emerging scams targeting active military and veterans and how to report them;
  • Provide both internal and external assistance on consumer protection-related issues;
  • Connect service members and veterans with legal aid offices or other agencies if needed; and
  • Foster open communication between local, state and federal partners to help ensure complaints are being handled by the correct organization and new information is shared.

According to the Florida Attorney General's Office, the most common scams that target service members, veterans and their families include debt and credit, housing, stolen valor, charity/non-profit, and scams involving benefits. 

Bondi says her office works tirelessly to ensure that any military member -- active duty, returning from deployment, guard and reserve members, or veterans -- are protected from unscrupulous businesses and individuals.

If you are aware of scam targeting anyone in the military or veteran communities, call 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or file a complaint online with Bondi's Consumer Protection Division.

To learn more about the new Military and Veterans Assistance Program (MVAP) and the most common scams targeting military and veteran communities, go here.

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