Days before Veterans Day, a scam is targeting those who served our country
A scam warning for you to be aware of. The potential victims? Veterans.
The VA said scammers are targeting veterans through the PACT Act, which is aimed at protecting heroes.
“We’re honoring their service and what a dishonor to try to scam them out of something that they earned,” Peter Potter said, Public Affairs Director for Albany Stratton VA Medical Center.
The PACT Act is designed to expand VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances, including Agent Orange and burn pits.
However, Potter said veterans need to be warned that scammers are trying to take advantage.
“The VA is looking at the second largest number of veterans eligible for care since the Vietnam War. We’re looking at a large majority of people that could be susceptible for a scam like this.”
Most of the time, it’s a call from a scammer and they say, “They can get you signed up for the Pact Act and all they need to do is charge you a fee.”
Potter said don’t open up your wallet because there is no cost to sign up.
But how are scammers finding veterans?
“They can go through IP addresses. There are a lot of different ways to find out who’s a veteran and what they’ll do is sometimes they’ll just hunt and peck. They’ll look for somebody and hopefully, it hits.”
Scammers will also ask for personal information; including a social security number and dates of service. Potter said the VA never asks for that kind of stuff over the phone.
“The best thing you can do, if you’re ever skeptical, and it sounds really? Real you call back. Call the VA because the VA will be able to tell you, ‘Yes that indeed is a scam.’ but 99.9% of the time we are not going to be calling asking for any type of information.”
Potter said the best and safest way to sign up for the PACT Act is to go directly through the VA, as well as New York State’s Veteran Service Agency.
To avoid VA fraud, click here for tips to best protect yourself.