Scam targets vets, sounds warning
Hello military community,
I had planned to write on a different topic this week but it was important to me to make sure you were all aware of the recent announcement made by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Last week, the VA made an announcement about the latest “marketing scam,” which targets veterans who are trying to reach two of the “VA’s national call centers.
VA officials have addressed this situation by contacting law enforcement authorities and posting fraud alerts on the department’s Facebook page last week.
Reportedly, this company established two toll-free numbers that differ by one digit from the VA’s National Call Center and its GI Bill Call Center. If a veteran happens to dial the wrong number, the veteran is offered a gift card in return for providing personal and financial information, including credit card information.
An initial recorded message tells callers they have been selected or may be selected for a $100 Wal-Mart gift voucher, and directs them to press 1 to be transferred to someone who will help process their vouchers.
I encourage veterans and their families to use care when calling VA national lines and to be aware that the VA Benefits Administration office DOES NOT sell or give away gift cards, nor does it ask for credit card information. Plus they will NEVER ask you for a credit card number or banking information.
It is reported this marketing scam company’s representatives are vague about whether they are working with the VA, and respond “yes” when asked if they can help with VA benefits. They may even offer to transfer callers after requesting credit card information.
For your convenience the correct numbers are:
- The VA National Call Center number is 800-827-1000.
- The VA GI Bill Call Center number is 888-442-4551.
I want to remind military families that although this is being addressed (the bogus telephone numbers in question may no longer be in operation), it will not stop scammers from switching to other bogus numbers. So be aware and do not give out your personal information. If you feel your information has been compromised, contact your local law enforcement, bank and credit bureau.
Blessings from my family to yours,
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com and visit my website at MilitaryResourceBooks.com for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.