NEW YORK (CBS) — Anyone can be the target of a scam, but a recent report finds members of the military and veterans tend to lose more money to con artists.

Army veteran Michael Poling was looking for work and posted his resume on several employment sites.

A company reached out with a customer service position he could do from home. He was sent a check for $5,000 to buy home office equipment. He would send back any money he had left over.

“Nothing kind of odd about it or anything like that to me,” he said.

RELATED STORY: New York Law Aims To Protect Veterans From Pension Poaching

That day, he told an acquaintance about the job. The acquaintance said his wife had just fallen victim to a scam that sounded similar.

“The original check bounced and then they were short the money,” Poling said.

Poling reached out to the authorities.

“They advised me to just stop all contact. Just not talk to them. Don’t respond to them,” he said.

He didn’t lose money, but many veterans do.

A study from the Better Business Bureau found current and former service members who fell for a scam lost an average of $200, 32% more than the general public.

“When it comes to employment scams, it’s really important for you to pay attention for those work-from-home, flexible job opportunities in particular,” said Melissa Bittner, from the Better Business Bureau.

Bittner says current service members are also frequently the target of moving scams.

RELATED STORY: New Program Helps Military Vets Start New Businesses

Last year, CBS News talked to Army Sergeant Herbert Gill and his wife, Amanda.

When the Gills transferred to a new base, the moving company held the family’s possessions hostage until they paid an extra $1,200.

“[If] they’re doing it to me, I mean, what are they doing to a young soldier that doesn’t know any better?” Herbert Gill said.

The Gills and Poling shared their stories to alert other veterans and hopefully protect them from getting scammed.


Leave a Reply