New bill aims to protect veterans from scammersPosted: Updated:
A new bill could help veterans from being scammed by so-called “pension poachers.”
The scammers are financial advisers who claim to help veterans obtain benefits and overcharge them for their services, while promising benefits they won't qualify for.
The Pension Poaching Prevention Act will shield veterans from crooked financial planners and insurance agents.
"Sometimes the scam can be where someone is conned out of a couple hundred dollars," said Sen. David Carlucci, a co-sponsor of the bill. "Other times, it could be their life savings."
The bill prohibits shady businesses from receiving compensation for assisting veterans with the preparation of a claim or charging outrageous fees for their services. They also cannot guarantee a specific amount of veterans benefits. In addition, before offering any services, they must inform them and their families of the free services offered through the NYS Division of Veterans' Services.
Officials at the Westchester County Veterans Agency said, "special veterans that serve our nation and have earned their benefits certainly deserve that they should be protected from disreputable people."