July is Military Consumer Month, an annual observance to increase awareness of consumer protections and financial readiness for servicemembers, veterans, and military families. During Military Consumer Month, federal agencies, including the NCUA, highlight key financial topics within the military community.
Servicemembers and military families make enormous sacrifices for our nation while facing unique financial challenges that make them prime targets for identity theft, fraud, scams, and expensive financial products and services. In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel consumer complaint database received over 195,000 complaints from the military community. Military consumers reported monetary harm of over $414 million from fraud, an increase of more than 50 percent from the previous year.1
In its Consumer Protection Data Spotlight, the FTC shows that active duty servicemembers file reports about many forms of identity theft – and related problems with debt collection and credit reporting – at much higher rates than non-military consumers.2 Active duty servicemembers are 76 percent more likely than other adults to report that an identity thief misused an existing account, such as a bank account or credit card. Most notably, they are nearly three times as likely to report that someone used a debit card or some other electronic means to take money directly from their bank account.