With the unique situations that happen to military families, it can be difficult to know where to turn for resources for non-military issues. In particular, there are many consumer protection issues that don’t fall under the realm of military programs. In response to that need, the Council of Better Business Bureaus created the Military Line program. Run through local community Better Business Bureaus (BBB) , the Military Line program provides financial literacy and consumer protection resources that are specific to military needs and situations.
Two important aspects of the Military Line program include data collection and information dissemination. The Council analyzes data from member BBBs to identify important trends and issues in military consumer protection areas. This might include scams or other predatory transactions that are aimed at military families.
Military families are often targeted for scams or disadvantageous financial transactions. Examples include predatory lending, ID theft, questionable “investments”, employment scams, and usurious rent-to-own schemes.
Military families are might find these types of offers attractive for many reasons. These include age, financial stress due to military service and PCS moves, and inexperience with financial situations. The BBB Military Line helps to combat these reasons by providing information about the background of companies, awareness of the complaints made by other members, and overall financial education.
In addition to identifying trends and warning military families about new or popular threats, the BBB Military Line helps with dispute resolution with companies. Military members, or their families can file a complaint against a company, and the BBB will attempt to help the military member and the company come to a mutually satisfactory resolution. They can not guarantee to resolve your problem, but it can help. Additionally, all outcomes become part of the company’s record with the BBB, which helps other military families to make informed decisions.