November 21, 2013 |
Veterans Beware: Marketing Scam
Our office has recently become aware of a marketing scam targeted at Veterans who are trying to get in contact with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
A marketing company has purchased two toll-free numbers almost identical to the VBA toll-free numbers to trick Veterans who have mistakenly dialed the wrong number into providing credit card numbers and other private information.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the marketing company tries to mislead Veterans into volunteering their personal information by offering a free Walmart gift card in exchange. When asked if they are the Veterans Affairs office, the marketing company replies vaguely and explains that the Veterans Affairs office is very busy. They respond yes when asked if they can help with VA benefits and they may even offer to transfer callers after requesting credit card information.
The two scam numbers identified by the Department of Veterans Affairs are:
- 800-872-1000 – similar to the Veterans Benefits Administration's main number 800-827-1000
- 888-442-4511 – similar to the GI-Bill number 888-442-4551
Veterans are encouraged to use care when calling VA national lines and to be aware that the VBA office does not sell gift cards or ask for credit card information.