TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Better Business Bureau is working to stop military men and women from falling victim to scams.
Experts say some of those too-good-to-be-true deals are designed and targeted directly at service members.
Marlondos Fields has spent 17 years in the Navy. But, he hasn't made it this far without being contacted by people trying to sell him something that sounded like an unrealistically good deal.
"There was one where you could have free film developing for the rest of your life. But, once you sit down and start listening to the questions, and you start thinking, I realized, 'this is part of a scam,'" says Fields.
He says the caller asked for personal information while trying to pull at his heart strings by talking about the importance a photo to a military family. Fields says the caller talked about deployment, homecomings, family events and all of the other memories it's important to remember.
Through the Better Business Bureau's military line, workshops and conferences are geared toward educating military adults, teens and veterans on how to protect themselves as consumers.
"The workshops consist of common scams, identity theft and investment scams," says the BBB's Melissa Isham.
Isham says, as unfortunate as it is, some scammers see service members as the ideal target.
"Typically, they're young and inexperienced. They come back from overseas and aren't aware of what to look out for," she says.
On the BBB's web site, military members can subscribe to newsletters that pertain to their particular branch of service. The updates are designed to keep them in the loop on any consumer threats or alerts that specifically target the military population.
The BBB reports, in the past two years, 100,000 complaints from the military community have been reported to them.
The organization says they're working to host workshops every year for military men and women in East Texas.