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News : Scammers Target Veterans Calling Veteran Affairs
Nov 25, 2013 -- A fraud alert was issued recently letting veterans know about a scam that targets people who are attempting to call two Department of Veterans Affairs hotlines.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) servicemember affairs team released the warning on their Facebook page on Friday. They said that a marketing compnay established two fraudulent toll-free phone numbers that are one digit off of two official VA call center numbers. Those numbers are for the VA National Call Center and the GI Bill Call Center.
Department of Veterans Affairs Call Center:
##CORRECT NUMBER: 800-827-1000
FAKE NUMBER: 800-872-1000
GI Bill Call Center:
CORRECT NUMBER: 888-442-4551
FAKE NUMBER: 888-442-4511
If a person calls the fake number by mistake, a person on the other end of the line will offer a gift card. They will then try to get personal and financial information from the caller, including credit card information. According to the warning, the person at the fake number might even transfer the called to the VA after they get the information.
Officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs said that the organization will never ask fro a credit card or banking information over the phone. They also advise veterans to make sure they know who they are talking to, before giving personal sensitive information over the phone. The VA has notified law enforcement authorities to address the situation.
The CFPB Servicemember Affairs team monitors consumer complaints and their resolutions. It is in the mandate of the organization to hold those who break military consumer protection laws accountable.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Department Of Veterans Affairs:
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense. With a total 2009 budget of about $87.6 billion, VA employs nearly 280,000 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices and is responsible for administering programs of veterans’ benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. In 2012, the proposed budget for Veterans Affairs was $132 billion. The VA 2014 Budget request for 2014 is $152.7 billion. This includes $66.5 billion in discretionary resources and $86.1 billion in mandatory funding. The discretionary budget request represents an increase of $2.7 billion, or 4.3 percent, over the 2013 enacted level.
Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013