A retailer going by the name “Exchange Inc.” is attempting to dupe military shoppers into big-ticket purchases but has no relationship to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, AAFES said in a Wednesday announcement.
Scammers have operated as Exchange Inc. to broker the sales of vehicles and vehicle parts, AAFES said in the announcement. It’s not a new scam, officials said, but it’s recently branched out to include the sale of boat engines.
Some ways to tell whether you’re dealing with an exchange impostor:
- AAFES isn’t allowed to sell vehicles in the continental U.S. If you’re buying a vehicle stateside, you’re not buying from the exchange.
- The scammers frequently request payment via untraceable, generally unrefundable methods, such as third-party gift cards like Google Play cards.
- The transaction comes via a classified ad or a resale website. AAFES only operates on installations and via the exchange web portal.
How veterans, troops and military families can shop smart
Shoppers should verify any suspicious payment requests by calling the AAFES customer service line at 800-527-2345, officials said. Those who believe they have been scammed can file a complaint through the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.