Phony telephone number scam targets veterans

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There’s a new scam out there, preying on veterans who are making decisions about their medical care. The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program allows certain eligible vets to use approved health care providers who are outside of the VA system. Veterans or families can call the VCP’s toll-free number to verify their eligibility for the program.

Here’s the problem: Scammers have set up a phony telephone line that very closely resembles the VCP’s real telephone number. Con artists often use names, seals, and logos that look or sound like those of respected, legitimate organizations. This time they’re using a phone number that’s almost identical to the real thing, counting on creating confusion. You call and think you’ve reached the VCP. The fake line’s message says you’re entitled to a rebate if you provide a credit card number. But if you give up your account information, they’ll debit your account and you’ll get nothing in return.  There is no rebate and you’ll need to cancel your credit card. 

If you’re a veteran – or you’re helping one with health care – remember these tips to avoid a scammer’s tricks.

  • Be sure you’re calling the real number for the Veterans Choice Program: 866-606-8198. If you’re not sure you’ve reached the VCP, hang up. Check the VCP’s site for the real number and try again.
  • The VA – or any government agency – will not ask for your financial account information.

 

Visit VCP’s site to learn more about the Veterans Choice Program – or call 866-606-8198. Check out the VA’s identity theft prevention program, More Than a Number.  Report identity theft to the FTC – and get a personalized recovery plan – at IdentityTheft.gov.

Tagged with: account, health, veteran
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Wow

How is it possible that these evil people can establish a phone number very similar to the VCP? Who allows that? These Veterans deserve our respect, and they also deserve our looking out after them, as they once did us. And these scammers get a phone number very similar, use banners and paperwork identical - anyone would be confused!

What can regular, honest people do to help these Veterans from being robbed? The Government should absorb any losses these people incur from scanners, but I don't see that happening. What can a regular guy like me do to help these people? Chances are they aren't reading your blog, and it infuriates me that they can be so easily scammed, and there is no one there to protect them!

The above article DOES NOT SPECIFY, the 'VCP' website.

If you click on the words highlighted in blue in the next sentence, you will go to the VCP website. The highlighted blue words mean there is a link to another website.  "Visit VCP’s site to learn more about the Veterans Choice Program "

they should be aware of the phony grant scam also that they call and say you got some much and transfer you to another person for you to by a green card and call back. It cost $200 or more dollars. I contacted the grant department they said they never call people. Some will ask it you are a Veteran.

I know what you mean they ask me for $250.00 and they will send me $8,000. They have the nerves to tell me they will not stop calling. They will continue to call. That come from so many BIG companies getting cheap labor. They constantly trusting those foreign (offshore) people. They have the nerves to say they are offshore. It's a sin & a shame we have to suffer because they trust those foreign people with our information That's why they call. They give info to their buddies. They use my telephone number to call me. They call that "SPOOFING" and they can't trace them

The VA would give a rebate to a credit card number???

No, the real VA will not give a rebate to a credit card number. That's a story the scammers made up. The scammers want people to say their credit card numbers, so they can run up charges on their credit cards.

I'm a 100% disabled veteran who has received care from the VA, Choice and via Fee Services since 2002.

No matter what path you take to receive care from VA, you should never be handing over money to a provider directly, nor the Choice Program.

The Choice document referenced above (in this blog) states" VA co-pays will not be collected at the time of the appointment but will be billed by VA after the appointment".

If you have a VA co-pay because of your VA Priority Group, you will always be billed by VA after the appointment by VA via snail mail.

866-606-8198 is the number printed on the front and back of your Choice Program card that the VA mailed veterans starting about 2015.

They also are calling individuals, they make it look like it's someone local calling you even with a name and when you answer it is totally someone else. They are using other names and numbers so you would answer

I am not veteran but I am a 80 years old texan receiving unknown calls but I never answer unknown numbers out of my contacts and I blocked the numbers, I hope the Veterans can do what I am doing with positive results.

Spoofing is where the caller uses your telephone number. I get that all the time or someone else number to call you This is sad. I got rid of a lot of my calling features because it didn't work against those spoofying Why pay money for all those calling features and they don't work I told AT&T they owe me for buying into their products and they don't work

Since the government knows the phony phone number scammers are using couldn't someone go after the scammers or at least shut down the phony phone number?

I've been scammed before by these fake numbers so I did some research online and I found the Federal Trade Commission for consumers and signed up for alerts like these. Every time and new scam comes out I get an email from the FTC warning me about it. It's a very good service to have you just need to sign up with your email address to get the alerts on recent scams.

There is only one way to stop this scam and others Scam all in congress at work and home every 10 minutes by phone. mail and e-mail Make a law all scamers put in jail Don't say this cannot be done I been around a long time There is little the government can not do if the leaders are effected

Can't you shut down the phoney phone numbers and prosecute the scammers? SERIOUSLY! DO SOMETHING TO STOP THESE THIEVES!

Hey they have been calling me for the pass few weeks, I'm like Tex, I don't answer those calls, they can forget it.
Don't they know we are hooked on what they are doing, Those BUMS need to give it a break. The FTC need to shut them down ASAP. Thank you

It is sad that we live in a world where anything and anyone is fair game. Haven’t our veterans endured enough, through combat, uprooting and the daily stresses of military life? Being a wife of a veteran, there is nothing that boils my blood when our military are the target of a scam, and not just any scam, a scam on their healthcare! If there is anyone thing the government should take seriously it should be to see that military personnel get adequate access to proper healthcare. This means we should not be seeing a rise in Veteran suicides. All too often, service men and women survive combat only to come home and have to combat the effects of physical and mental scars. Let’s start waking up people.

The bottom line is DON'T give out ANY personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone! Don't say the word "yes" and don't agree to anything! Just hang up and learn how to block the call so they can't call you again.

Called today from #262 asking for donation to VA. Asked for info he said need routing# prior- to save $ sending info envelope out. Not a smart guy.

I have received calls like that and one thing that I KNOW for sure is that the VA will NEVER call you on the phone except to remind you of an upcoming appointment, or to return a call by you. So whenever I get a call and the person on the other end says he or she is calling from the VA regarding some payment, or refund etc. I might play along and confuse them a bit making them think I am not quite right in the head, but I will never give up any information.

Got a call from some foreign speaking man who wanted to know information about my bank account. I do not do business this way. So i ask question about him and he hung up on me. His phone# was (228) 238-6135 I live on the Coast of Mississippi..These calls are getting to be too many . From some guy in India,most probably.

I got a few calls today, rang once and then when I called back it said it was not a working number, here are the phone numbers
910-384-4023, 828-483-4144, 910-384-3296, it's real aggravating. Be nice if all spammers were stopped. Got a call from a young lady she talked real fast trying to sell me a home security system had to hang up on her and some trying to sell health insurance under the Health Security Act.

I got a call about the VA home loan stating there were new changes to the benefits package. I am a veteran but I did not take out a loan. Call back to number 404-682-1328 and it was disconnected last than 3 minutes of the call.

Lately, I keep getting calls supposedly from the Denver VA. But they called me when I know they're closed at 2042. Furthermore its the weekend, and on top of that it's the wrong state.

If my review appears twice, I tried to post once before using my Cell Phone.

While I was in the process of making my other comment, the "Denver VA" supposedly called me again.

I let the call connect but than didn't talk. An automated voice said that they wanted to set me up with "text" messaging.

Please Say "Yes." or "No." I said, Nothing. This repeated 3 times, and each time you could distinctly hear someone typing on a keyboard in the background.

Finally the automated voice, thanked me for my service and disconnected.

Considering that they called me 3 times today, and at least twice almost everyday the last 2 weeks, something was off.

Also they never bothered to leave 1 message. Which the VA will usually do. They never leave info, but they will usually ask you to call them back.

And that is what seemed strange here, not to mention the weird hours, when obviously the VA is closed, and its a weekend!

The number they were spoofing was 1-303-399-8020 which happens to be the correct number for the Denver VA.

Anyway, please be careful. Trust your gut :)

Got a call from 816-293-9759 at 8:30am claiming to be from veterans affairs another scammer asking for donations of money.

I do not know if this is a scam, but I received a call today from the Veterans Benefit Improvement Center with a Colorado number (720) 414-9727. The Rep sounded Govt official telling me they had info on Veteran Benefits. When I asked if he was Govt, he said no and went into a speech about how they can help veterans. I pressed and asked if this is a company and he stumbled until I got it out of him that it was a private company. I asked why he was calling and he hung up. I called the number back and got the run around with no straight answers while the female rep was talking to a supervisor while having me on mute. Just in case this is a fraud attempt, I want to let other veterans know that this company is not upfront when they cold call.

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