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Sophisticated Scam Goes After Disabled Veterans
March 30, 2017

Veterans beware!  A highly sophisticated scam is sweeping the country, and the scammers are going after disabled veterans.  The scammers are contacting disabled veterans informing them they have been award a free government grant from the Federal Grant Division.  The scammers are using highly sophisticated telephone software that make it appear they are calling from a local government office.  Also, the scammers are highly trained in using government language to make it seem as if you are dealing with someone from the Federal Government.  Unfortunately, the scammers have already scammed thousands of veterans.

For instance, a Vietnam War veteran is out $2,650 after falling victim to government imposter scammers.

Charles Jorgensen, 72, received a phone call from the “Federal Grant Division” notifying him that he’d been selected for a grant.  Mr. Jorgensen said, “It seemed plausible because I served in the Air Force and all of my medical needs are being handled by the VA.”

To process his newly awarded grant, scammers claiming to be from the Federal Grant Division, informed Mr. Jorgensen he only had to pay grant processing fees.  Believing he was being directed by officials from the Federal Grant Division, Mr. Jorgensen purchased iTunes gift cards to cover the cost of “processing fees.’

According to Mr. Jorgensen, “They make it sound good, but then they keep dragging it on and say ‘we need one more payment, we need one more payment,’”

Mr. Jorgensen reported that his grant money never arrived.

Tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to spot this scam:

• Don't pay any money for a "free" government grant. If you have to pay money to claim a "free" government grant, it isn't really free. A real government agency won't ask you to pay a processing fee for a grant that you have already been awarded.

• Be wary of look-a-like government agencies. Just because the caller says he's from the "Federal Grants Administration" doesn't mean that he is...or that such an agency exists. When in doubt, do a quick online search.

• Pick up the phone. If you receive a suspicious call or email, call the local government agency to check its legitimacy. Look for the phone number on previous correspondence or the official government website. Don't call the number given to you by the caller or in the email.

• Don't trust your friends' tastes online. It might not actually be them "liking" or sharing these scam posts. Their account may have been hacked or impersonated.


Beware of Veterans Choice Program Scam
June 15, 2017

Another devious telephonic scam has surfaced, and it is targeting veterans throughout the country who are in the process of making decisions about their own personal medical care. 

The scammers have set up a bogus telephone line, which mimics or resembles the actual telephone line used for the Veterans Choice Program.

The Veterans Choice Program allows certain veterans to use approved healthcare providers outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system by calling a toll-free number to see if they are eligible.  At this point, the scammers step in to attempt to defraud veterans.  This is where the bogus telephone number comes in handy for the scammers.   The only difference between their bogus telephone number and the real telephone number used by the VA is the area code.

The real telephone number used by the VA has an “866” area code, while the scammers use the more common “1-800” area code telephone number. 

Veterans who answer the bogus (1-800) telephone number will get an automated message.

The phony message states that veterans may qualify for a rebate, usually a $100 - $500 rebate if they are willing to update their information using the telephone key pad and by giving their credit card information or checking account information using the automated telephone system.  The message also indicates that veterans will receive quicker responses from the VA regarding their healthcare choice if they update their information via the automated system.  Which, asks for the veterans’ credit card information.

There is no rebate, and the cons then have a person’s financial information.

It is important to remember that neither the VA, nor any government agency, will not ask for a veterans’ financial account information over the telephone.  

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