Skip Navigation
  • Robocall Hotline:(844)-8-NO-ROBO
  • All Other Complaints:(877)-5-NO-SCAM
  • Outside NC:919-716-6000
  • En Español:919-716-0058

Attorney General Stein’s May Column: Protecting our Military Families

Attorney General Josh Stein
May 2024

May is Military Appreciation Month, a month-long recognition of the dedication and sacrifice servicemembers and their families make for our nation. While their dedication is worth honoring every day, highlighting them during May offers the chance to lift them up and shed light on the ways we as citizens can support them.

North Carolina has the country’s fourth largest population of active-duty military members, and unfortunately, because servicemembers and their families are often stationed away from home in new communities, they are especially vulnerable to scammers and fraudsters and illegitimate business practices. Here are some ways to avoid common scams that target military families and veterans.

Shady companies may target members of the military to offer financing or credit at high interest rates, such as risky car sales, and financial schemes that promise to give you upfront cash. Take the time to do your research before making financial decisions, and don’t be pressured into making these decisions. If something feels too good to be true, it probably is. You may also be offered easy access to loans through advanced fee loan scams, which require you to pay for a broker’s help before you get the loan. In North Carolina, these scams are illegal.

Scammers will sometimes target military family members with an imposter scam. The criminal will call you and claim that your relative serving in the military requires immediate financial assistance. They’ll pretend that your relative is in serious legal or financial trouble or physical danger and needs money immediately to ensure their safety or release. Because this is an understandably stressful situation, people will often panic and share their financial information. If you find yourself in such a situation, stop, take a deep breath, hang up, and attempt to verify the information with someone you trust.

Watch for something called affinity fraud: people trying to exploit your military connection. Scammers might pretend to be military servicemembers or veterans to establish a relationship, and then ask for money or offer certain investment opportunities. They’ll claim that they are doing so because of your shared military connection. These scammers try to take advantage of the trust that exists among military and veteran communities.

My office works every day to hold accountable anyone who targets servicemembers and protect the servicemembers who protect us. We developed the Military Consumer Guide to help servicemembers and their families navigate potential scams and answer common financial questions. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam because of a military connection, or if you have any questions about a possible scam, please call my office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at

Thank you to all our servicemembers, military families, and veterans for your service. We are deeply indebted to you.