A new video from the VA warns veterans and their family members of the ongoing threat from “pension poaching” – efforts by scammers to separate beneficiaries from their VA benefits or entice them to apply for new benefits they didn’t earn.
The video covers some of the more common types of poaching attempts, to include scammers who:
- Offer to reallocate your financial assets to make you eligible to receive new or expanded VA benefits.
- Claim (falsely) that benefits can be redirected into a caregiver’s account.
- Charge a fee to file a new benefits claim.
The above attempts, and other types of attempted fraud, often come with requests for personal or financial information, which can lead to additional security problems.
Scammers also frequently promise “guaranteed eligibility” for various benefits, according to a VA news article accompanying the video release. This should set off alarm bells – all veterans benefits must be approved by the VA and can’t be guaranteed prior to submitting an application.
Those who’ve been targeted by scammers regarding VA benefits can file a complaint via the VA’s national call center at (800) 827-1000, or by visiting the department’s Office of Inspector General online. For other types of pension fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission or find your state attorney general’s office.
VA’s pension benefits website includes application and eligibility information, details on tracking your claim or checking your payment history, pension rates, and more resources.