For the thousands of brave men and women that serve our country, the generous donations they receive go a long way to ensure they feel appreciated for the sacrifice they make for this country.
In fact, according to Fox News, Americans give more than $2.5 billion a year to some 40,000 charities with missions designed to help veterans.
But according to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this crowded field of charities are now being inundated with fraud… and it’s our brave vets that end up paying the price!
In July, the FTC launched Operation Donate with Honor to spotlight the problem of fraudulent and deceptive fundraising on behalf of military and veterans’ causes.
And the findings of the FTC’s investigation are downright disgusting!

“It’s war profiteering,” Joshua Starks, commander of the 300,000-strong Oklahoma Veterans of Foreign Wars told Fox News. “They’re stealing from people who raised their hand and took an oath to serve our country and then went overseas to protect the rights of all of us--including the people who are stealing from them.”
As part of Operation Donate with Honor, the FTC distributed a list of 102 law enforcement actions 34 states have lodged against bogus veterans’ charities. Some are recent. Others are newly filed. The FTC is a partner in two of the new cases.
The list outlined the many ways these groups solicit donations—online, on the phone, by mail, door-to-door and at stores and supermarkets.
FTC officials said these legal actions share a common theme… the false promise to help needy and disabled vets, to provide veterans with employment counseling, mental health counseling or other assistance and to send care packages to deployed service members.
One charity named in the report is the Florida-based charity, Help the Vets.
Donors contributed $20 million to Help the Vets from 2013 to 2017. But the charity spent very few of the dollars that were collected to assist veterans, the FTC said.
“Help the Vets spent more than 95% of the millions it collected paying its founder, fundraisers, and on expenses,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said.
The charity swindled donors through shameless solicitations, according to a lawsuit the FTC filed to coincide with the kick-off of Operation Donate with Honor.
“But for thousands of disabled veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, ‘giving an arm and a leg’ isn't simply a figure of speech- it's a harsh reality,” says one Help the Vets solicitation. “Your $10 gift will mean so much to a disabled veteran.”
However, Help the Vets’ assistance to these unfortunate veterans consisted of vouchers for chiropractic treatment at a clinic, the FTC charged. Only FIVE vouchers were ever redeemed.
The lawsuit also charges that donors sent Help the Vets $776,000 to support veterans diagnosed with breast cancer. However, not a single grant ever went to a veteran fighting the disease, according to the FTC.
The despicable actions by groups like Help the Vets are just a small example of charities across the country robbing donors and veterans blind.
The FTC report outline other bogus charities across the country that promised everything from money to service animals… but never delivered.
Meanwhile, reputable charities that DO help our vets are missing out on critical donations thanks to the selfish – and criminal – acts of these shady charities.
The next time a charity asks you to donate to help our vets, make sure it’s legitimate. Our brave vets deserve it!Charities across the country are stealing donations for vets. Learn more about the scandal here.