Protecting Veterans from VA Benefit Scams
I know that many veterans get frustrated with the delay of waiting for a decision form VA about their veterans disability benefits. Often it takes many months or years to make sure that VA reaches the correct decision on your case.
Unfortunately, some scammers are trying to take advantage of this frustration that veterans experience. Veterans who are taken advantage of by this scam risk their personal and financial information. I wanted to publish this article to make sure that veterans know about this scam so they can avoid it.
You have probably heard about email and phone scams that try to collect personal and financial information. Email scams may indicate that your bank needs you to verify some information or needs some information to correct an error from your account. Phone scams sometimes often take the same approach.
This new veterans benefits scam seems to take the same approach. VA is reporting that veterans are receiving phone calls from people who say they are attorneys from VA’s Office of General Counsel. These scammers request money in exchange for processing the veteran’s claim for VA benefits.
Given the long times that many veterans wait to get the benefits they should, it is easy to see why a call from someone impersonating VA is a scam that could work. Apparently, these calls may very well show up as coming from “Veterans Affairs” on caller ID.
We want to make sure that scammers cannot take advantage of veterans who are waiting on a decision from VA. Awareness of these scams is the best way to prevent scammers from taking advantage of veterans.
What should I do if I receive one of these scam phone calls?
VA has written an article that discusses these scams. That article talks about what veterans should do if they receive one of the phone calls.
One of the most important things that VA mentions is that you should not give out personal or financial information. They say you should hang up the phone immediately. You can also report the incident to your state’s attorney general and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
If you already received a phone call and provided personal or financial information to the scammer or sent them money, VA’s article also has information about what you should do in those situations.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Please share it with other veterans you know so that they can be sure and avoid becoming a victim of these scams and other similar ones.
If you have questions about veterans benefits, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at (770) 214-8885 or completing and submitting our free consultation request form.
Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims. He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.
You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.