RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A law that allows military veterans and their families who were exposed to toxins to sue the government under certain conditions is now being used by scammers. 

It’s called the PACT ACT scam.  

Scammers are great opportunists, seizing on hot topics and devising ways to use them to fleece unsuspecting victims.  

When the president signed the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins – or the PACT ACT– into law last month, it was designed to help veterans and their families like those who’d consumed contaminated water at Camp Lejeune—or been exposed to toxic burn pits at military bases. 

To criminal scammers, it’s just an opportunity to steal. 

“They have no morals,” said the Better Business Bureau’s Nick Hill. “It doesn’t matter to them if it’s someone who sacrificed to serve this country. They don’t care. It’s just another victim to them.” 

A recent study by the BBB found active duty military members are 44 percent more susceptible to scams than the general population making our vets a preferred prey for the PACT scam.  

Hill explained how the scam works.  

“Scammers posing as third parties say they can do the whole benefit process for you.” said Hill. “When you pay them they either disappear with your money or get access to your personal information.” 

Another version of the scam involves impersonation of Veterans Administration employees asking for your information which they then steal. 

Hill explained the best way to protect yourself from the scam. 

“If you receive any communication—be it a text message, phone call or email claiming to be from Veterans Affairs, instead of replying to that communication go directly to the VA website and contact them that way,” said Hill. 

Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia found the relevant pages on that website.  

The VA website now has lots of information about PACT ACT benefits and how to apply. 

The American Legion also has a comprehensive guide about what you need to know about the Pact ACT. 

The most important thing that you need to know about regarding these PACT ACT scams is agencies like the VA and others are not going to contact you out of the blue. 

If that happens, that is a huge red flag. Remember, you have to make the first contact.