As we honor our veterans today on Memorial Day, scammers take Memorial Day as just another opportunity to scam veterans and others. A common scam used against veterans starts with a telephone call in which the veteran is told that in order to continue to receive various benefits, it is necessary to verify personal information such as the veteran’s birth date, Social Security number or bank account information. Of course, the call is not from the Veterans Administration and the call is not to verify information, but rather to gain information to be used to make the veteran a victim of identity theft.
The Veterans Administration is not going to call someone on the phone to verify information. If you receive such a call, you can never be sure from whom the call comes because clever identity thieves are able to use a technique called “spoofing” to make it appear on your Caller ID as if the call from the identity thief is coming from the VA. Since you cannot ever be sure who is calling you when you receive a call asking for personal information, you should never give that information out in response to a phone call, text message or email. Instead if you have the slightest thought that the communication may be legitimate, you should contact the real entity, in this case, the VA at a phone number that you know is accurate to inquire and learn that the initial contact was a scam.