Monday, November 10, 2014

BBB Offers New Resource to Veterans, Service members

Burnsville, MN – November 10, 2014 – As part of their outreach to the military community, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota’s local Military Line (BBB) program has partnered with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance to create a specially-designed tri-fold handout containing tips on scams targeting service members and their families, as well as a list of community resources they can turn to when they have questions, concerns or need assistance.

The handout, which will first be distributed at a MACV StandDown event in Mankato on Wednesday, November 12 – and then made widely available to the military community - is designed in muted colors, to be user-friendly for veterans suffering from symptoms due to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Reports indicate that up to 20 percent of returning veterans exhibit symptoms of having sustained traumatic brain injuries. People suffering from these symptoms find brighter colors and densely-worded materials off-putting and have difficulty processing information formatted in standard fashion.

“This information is important to all service members and veterans, and when we designed this handout, we did so in such a way that it would be accessible to all,” said Lisa Jemtrud, Director of BBB’s Institute for Marketplace Ethics. “Our goal is to reach and help protect everyone, but especially those that need our help most.”

BBB’s new handout for veterans and servicemembers, as well as their families and caregivers, includes:
·         Tips on scams targeting military personnel and their families – and how to avoid them
·         An index of resources available to veterans
·         Information on payday loans and pension scams
·         A list of Do’s and Don’ts designed to protect personal information and help ensure financial security

For more than two years, BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota staff has made presentations at more than 100 events, reaching 10,000-plus people through workshops and military expos. BBB regularly provides information regarding employment scams at job fairs, offers resources to struggling veterans at StandDown events, conducts workshops on buying a car to veterans transitioning from various support programs and educates service members and their families on how to be smart consumers in today's fast-paced economy.