Our brave men and women of the Armed Forces who have fought long and hard to defend our freedom and the American way of life are often facing down scammers and con artists who want to steal their money and their dignity. We’ve joined the fight to protect those who have long protected us.
Several years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs learned of a data security breach which exposed the names, social security numbers, dates of birth and some disability ratings for up to 26.5 million veterans and some spouses.
The VA has since urged all veterans to be extra vigilant and carefully monitor all bank and credit card statements and any other statements related to recent financial transactions and to immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity that they see to their financial institutions.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, suspicious activities include:
Purchases or charges on your accounts you did not make.
New accounts you did not open nor make changes to.
Denials of credit for no apparent reason.
Bills that do not arrive as expected.
Inquiries from companies you’ve not contacted nor done business with.
You can also monitor your financial accounts b y reviewing your credit reporst. By law you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The contact information for these credit bureaus is:
Equifax: (800) 685-1111, www.equifax.com
Experian (formerly TRW): (888) 397-3742, www.experian.com
TransUnion: (800) 888-4213, www.transunion.com
If you find errors or inaccuracies, report them immediately to the credit bureau that generated the erroneous information. The VA has set up a manned call center that veterans may call to get information about the situation created by this data security breach. Veterans may call 1-800-333-4636 (FED-INFO) 8 am–9 pm (EDT) Monday-Saturday.