The Veterans Administration is alerting veterans that a telephone number similar to that of the Veterans Choice Program phone line is a scam.
The two phone lines differ only in area code. The correct Choice Program phone line is 1-866-606-8198, while the imposter phone line is using 1-800-606-8198. The fake line claims to offer callers a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card number.
The VA notes it would never ask veterans for this information or offer this type of financial incentive through the Choice Program phone line. The VA is taking this scam very seriously and is working with the Office of Inspector General to take legal action and ultimately shut the fake line down.
The VA notes that veterans can tell if they have reached the correct number if the phone line automatically states the caller has reached the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” The fake incorrectly notes that callers have reached the “Veterans Choice Program” if the caller asks this question. If veterans are unsure if they have reached the correct phone line, they should hang up and make sure they dial 1-866-606-8198 correctly.
The VA suggests that veterans call the Veterans Choice phone line at 1-866-606-8198 if they have questions about the program or to determine if they are eligible. More information on the Veterans Choice Program is also available at that number.
The VA Identity Safety Service offers a toll-free identity theft help line to veterans and their beneficiaries who believe that they are at risk for identity theft. The number is 1-855-578-5492, and it operates Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST with voicemail for after-hours calls. Any calls pertaining directly to VA data are referred to VA staff and investigated accordingly.
You can find out more about how you can protect yourself from identity theft at VA’s website: More Than A Number: Identity Theft Protection.