AAFES warns of 'Exchange Inc.' vehicle sales scams

Abbie Bennett
August 15, 2019 - 3:55 pm

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Service members are more likely than civilians to become victims of fraud, according to a recent Better Business Bureau study. 

Scammers attempt to use the cover of military brands to try to fool troops into fraud, including vehicle sales.

“For years, scammers have used the Exchange’s trademarked logo and name without permission to purportedly sell vehicles in the United States,” Steve Boyd, the Exchange’s loss prevention vice president, said in a statement. “Some military members have sent money thinking they’re dealing with the Exchange, only to receive nothing in return.”

Most recently scammers used the name "Exchange Inc." to try to fool service members into purchasing cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and other vehicles.

The scammers asked potential buyers to buy multiple gift cards, such as Google Play, to pay for the vehicle that doesn't actually exist. Once the money is exchanged, the service member is left with nothing. 

As a general rule, military exchanges don't have the authority to sell vehicles or work as middlemen for vehicle sales in the continental U.S., according to AAFES. 

Military shoppers who suspect a scam, or want to verify "any suspicious payment method requests" can call Exchange customer service at 800-527-2345. 

Exchange operates only on military installations and at ShopMyExchange.com and does not advertise on classifieds or resale websites. 

Shoppers who think they may have been the victim of a related scam can file a complaint at www.ic3.gov.

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Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett