VA is taking action in response to a phone line that appears to be set up to take advantage of Veterans who misdial the Veterans Choice Program phone line.
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 does not provide information on the Choice Program or its eligibility criteria, instead it claims to offer callers a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card number.
VA would never ask Veterans for this information or offer this type of financial incentive through the Choice Program phone line. This potential attempt to impersonate VA’s Veterans Choice Program phone line is being taken very seriously. VA is acting to ensure Veterans are not exploited by getting the word out and also by working with the Office of Inspector General to take legal action and ultimately shut the fake line down.
Veterans can tell if they have reached the correct phone line, if the phone line automatically states the caller has reached the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” Please note, the fake line will incorrectly confirm 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.
Please do not hesitate to call the Veterans Choice phone line at 1-866-606-8198 to ask questions about the program and determine if you are eligible. More information on the Veterans Choice Program can also be found here.
In addition, 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. Find out more about how you can protect yourself from identity theft at VA’s More Than A Number: Identity Theft Protection website.
About the author: The Veterans Choice Program submitted this article to VAntage Point.