Sheriff issues warning about recent telephone scams targeting veterans
By Bobby Lee McCulley | January 8, 2018 6:38 am
Because of several reports from White County residents about unsolicited and fraudulent callers claiming they are with the office of Veterans Affairs, Sheriff Oddie Shoupe has issued a public warning for veterans, especially those who are elderly.
On Jan. 4, 2018, a post was shared on the White County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page from the sheriff about concerns that have been raised by the public.
The sheriff’s Facebook page post stated, “There have been reports of a person/people who are targeting elderly veterans. They are claiming to be from the V.A. and telling these veterans that certain upgrades need to be added to their homes or they will lose their benefits. The V.A. does not operate in this manner. Citizens need to be careful who they let enter in their homes. Do not give anyone money or information without calling the V.A. or law enforcement. Please warn any elderly of this post.”
Recently, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs issued a warning about phone scams that have been occurring across the nation. Unfortunately, veterans, especially the elderly, are often targeted by scammers and must be alert and cautious of giving any personal information over the phone.
According to Veterans Affairs, veterans are urged not to give credit card numbers, bank routing information, or any personal and financial information over the phone to callers who are claiming to update, confirm, or verify veterans affairs-related information. Veteran Affairs does not call veterans and ask them to disclose personal financial information over the phone.
Regarding the recent round of fraudulent calls from scammers, Veteran Affairs stated they do not contact veterans about “having to perform any special task or perform upgrades in order to maintain their loans, health coverage, or other benefits,” stated a spokesperson with the Veteran Affairs Nashville Regional Benefit Office.
On Dec. 20, 2017, because of the increasing number of complaints of fraudulent calls attempting to scam veterans, Veteran Affairs and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a joint warning to active service members and other veterans about the increasing number of scams. This official warning advises veterans to beware of “too good to be true” offers that could turn out to be financial scams.
Veteran Affairs does offer certain financial and home loan programs but will never “cold-call” veterans offering these services. A veteran must first apply to participate in these programs.
Veterans who believe they are being hassled by scammers or think they have unknowingly entered into a scam can file a complaint with the CFPB at (856) 411-2372. If a veteran is ever in doubt of the legitimacy of a call from Veterans Affairs call 1-800-827-1000.