you received a suspicious call from an organization claiming to
represent or have affiliation with the Department of Veteran Affairs
(VA)? Did the caller guarantee a lucrative payout for your disability
compensation or pension claim for a “small fee”?
so, you may be a target of a scammer. Recently, VA has seen an increase
of fraudsters and non-accredited representatives who are targeting the
pension benefits of elderly Veterans and their dependents and survivors.
is committed to defeating fraudsters, who target elderly Veterans, by
educating them, their families, and all partners about the types of
fraudulent tactics being used against them, including Pension Poaching.
Poaching is the financial exploitation by an advisor who profits by
artificially qualifying a claimant for VA pension benefits. The scheme
often involves financial maneuvers such as advising claimants to hide
their assets in trusts or annuity products sometimes resulting in lost
investments and lucrative fees paid to the advisor. Pension Poaching is
rapidly evolving as a preferred method used by criminals to defraud
elderly Veterans, survivors, and their families who are eligible for VA
To avoid being a victim to these tactics, here are some helpful tips to remember when protecting yourself from fraud:
suspicious if someone offers to shift your assets around to qualify for
VA pension. You may be required to repay benefits to the government.
- NEVER share eBenefits, VA.GOV, or other VA login credentials with anyone.
NOT deposit VA benefits directly into a third-party bank account unless
the person is court appointed or a VA accredited fiduciary.
- Remember, VA does not charge for processing a claim or request a processing fee. Use VA accredited organizations to help file your claim.
does not threaten or take adverse actions such as jail or lawsuits on
claimants. If in doubt, call VA directly at 1-800-827-1000.
report suspected activity, please contact the VA Office of Inspector
General (OIG) by calling 1-800-488-8244. You may also file a complaint
with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting www.consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.
Veterans’ benefits against fraudulent activity is one of the best
things everyone can do to honor them, their service and sacrifice.