LVMAC Tidbit — Phone Phishing — Don’t Get Caught
Gift Card for Personal Information Scam
Tis the season to deceive veterans … We thought you might want to know about this one because it is particularly devious in the way it is done. We wish to thank our Navy Club brothers from the Reading area for putting us onto it.
A marketing company is playing fast and loose with telephone numbers similar to the Veterans Benefits Administration’s main 1-800 number and the GI Bill services 1-888 number in a phone phishing scheme. The VA states, “The marketer is trying to get callers to sign up to receive a Wal-Mart gift card, and is asking for PII (personal identification information), to include credit card information. When asked if they are the VA, they reply vaguely, and explain that the VA is very busy and the call was directed to them. They don’t say they are the VA, but if asked if they can help with VA benefits, they say yes. In addition, they even offer to transfer the call to the VA, after the caller provides the credit card information to get the free Wal-Mart gift card.”
It’s done slickly but it’s a scam despite all pretenses to the contrary. Here is the content extracted from a “potential fraud alert” circulated by the Veterans Benefits Administration to their Call Centers and Public Contact Teams.
As we have reported in the past, the Federal Government has no need to ask for personal information this way. It already knows. Beware.
As of 22 November 2013