Veterans -- Watch out for this sophisticated Scam

Discussion in 'Veterans' started by Doug1943, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    Highly Sophisticated Scam Targeting Veterans


    Veterans beware! There is a new scam sweeping the country targeting U.S. veterans. This one involves the use of new telephonic technology, and a well-orchestrated cast of scam artists who mimic Veterans Affairs (VA) culture. Unfortunately, the scam has already ripped off thousands of veterans – don’t be the next victim.


    The scam uses sophisticated telephonic technology that imitates VA operating signatures, thus, giving the impression via caller ID that the veteran is receiving a telephone call from the VA. Most veterans will see the following on their call ID system: “Department of Veterans Affairs, 1-800-827-1000.” The second part of the scam involves the scam artists pretending to be VA personnel. The scam artists are using scripted material to mimic the culture of VA personnel by implementing processes that would be used when a veteran contacts the VA. Most veterans are getting the following:


    Scam artists: “Hello, Mr. Smith, this is John from the VA, I’m contacting you because the VA is reaching out to veterans to ensure the accuracy of their records with us. Do you have a minute to go over your records at the VA?

    Veteran: Yes!

    Scam artists: “Before I get started, thank you for your service.”

    Veteran: “No problem.”

    Scam artists: “Mr. Smith, can you verify what branch of the military you served?”

    Veteran: “The Army.”

    Scam artists: “Ok. Thank you. Can you verify your current address?”

    Veteran: “555 Main St., Topeka, Kansas.”

    Scam artists: “Ok. Great! Can you verify your birthday?”

    Veteran: “July 10, 1947.” Scam artists: “Please verify your last compensation payment amount.”


    At this point, if the veteran provides information and gives an amount, the scam artists are using another script that eventually leads to asking the veteran to verify their social security number. If the veteran refuses to give information, the scam artists inform the veteran that he/she needs to be transferred to the Finance department. Then, the scam continues as:


    Scam artists: “This is Mike in the Finance department. How are you Mr. Smith?”

    Veteran: “I’m ok.”

    Scam artists: “As John mentioned to you, we [VA] are reaching out to veterans to ensure the accuracy of their information on file with the VA. We want to make sure nothing happens to your current or future payments from the VA. Is that ok with you Mr. Smith?”

    Veteran: “Sure.”

    Scam artists: “Mr. Smith can you verify your social security number on file with the VA?”

    Veteran: 123-12-1234

    Scam artists: “Great! Thank you. Also, can you verify the credit card we have on file for you?”

    Veteran: “I don’t have a credit card on file with the VA. Do I need to have a credit card on file?”

    Scam artists: “Yes! To make sure any incidentals are covered. In 99.9% of the cases, the credit card is never used, and if the credit card is used it will never exceed $10. Public law, and VA policy makes it necessary we have a credit card on file just in case something comes up that is not covered by the VA. So, what card would you like to keep on file? We take Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Which would you like to use?”


    -o-o-O-o-o-


    If you get a call from the “VA” and the scenario resembles anything close to the narrative above, terminate the telephone call. It is likely you are being scammed. Remember, the VA will never ask you for personally identifiable information over the phone. Never!


    [Source: http://www.veteranprograms.com/scams5.html | August 30, 2019 ++]
     
  2. Moonglow

    Moonglow Banned

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    That script is wrong if they think they have aped the atmosphere of the VA or any hospital and medical treatment facilities.
     
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  3. PARTIZAN1

    PARTIZAN1 Well-Known Member

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    We never ask for the entire SSN. When a VET comes in for an appointment but does not have his VA card we ask for any other picture ID and his last four.

    We do have VETS who will have a co pay if they are using us for a non service connected disability and / or they are not at a minimum threshold for all services. But we do not ask for SSN over the phone.
     
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  4. 61falcon

    61falcon Well-Known Member

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    If YOU think the call may be legit ASK THEM TO NOTIFY YOU IN WRITING!!!!NEVER RESPOND TO AN OVER THE PHONE INQUIRY FOR PERSONAL DATA !!!!!
     
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  5. PARTIZAN1

    PARTIZAN1 Well-Known Member

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    That is good advice for any call you get either allegedly VA or anything.
     
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  6. Spim

    Spim Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'll be honest with you I would have hung up 15 seconds into that phone call.

    I certainly wouldn't be tossing dates of birth address social security number and credit card information out there.
     
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  7. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    The sort of people who take part in online political forums, regardless of their political views, are probably more sophisticated than most people. (Or maybe they're just more cynical.) Unfortunately, quite a lot of people ... at least, enough to make it a paying business ... are not so sophisticated.

    They still trust others, or at least, others who can imitate beneovolent authority. This may be changing, sadly, but it's the way things are now. I don't have any other knowledge about this scam, in particular how successful it's is, but I thought it was worth alerting people to. Hopefully, it can get re-posted elsewhere. It can't do any harm. (And if this scam is actually happening, why doesn't the VA alert all vets about it? Or perhaps they already have.)

    I get rung up, sometimes several times a day, by scammers mainly from India. I pretend to be a near-senile old man (my wife says I don't find this very difficult) whose computer, or credit card, is upstairs, meaning the caller will have to wait while I slowly climb the stairs and come back. Then, depending on the call, I keep the caller on the line for as long as I can ... current record, 26 minutes. A good ploy to start with is to respond to the initial question, "How are you doing today?" with a long, elaborate answer. You can learn how to say a rude phrase in Hindi on line, but the vowel sounds don't seem easy to reproduce, so I haven't tried responding that way when I don't have time to keep them talking. (If there are any Hindi-speakers reading this who can give me the right string of phonemes, I would be grateful.)

    In Britain, if you own shares, your name is available publically. Then if you are also listed in the telephone directory, you will get all kinds of ingenious scam calls. I used to have these people ring me back on my Skype number and then record their calls, and send the recordings to various Official Bodies. I did help put a fellow in prison for four years this way, but in general, it's a waste of time. Most of the Official Bodies you can talk to on the phone here simply want you to fill in a long form for their database, after telling you not to fall for scams, and then they do nothing. At least it provides harmless jobs to some nice ladies.


    I had persistent contact with a group of Russian-American scammers, and sent the data I collected (recordings and documents) to the FBI -- they contacted me three months later -- apparently, they have to get permission from their British counterparts to directly contact someone in the UK and of course this takes many weeks, probably occupied by data searches and forms to be filled out and counter-signed and passed from one office to another -- by which time, of course, the scammers were long gone.

    Government, keeping us safe.
     
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  8. Tim15856

    Tim15856 Well-Known Member

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    Unless I know the person on caller ID, I never answer the phone. If it's important they will leave a message. I've got the IRS scam calls, funny how they are definitely from people where English is not their first language. I laugh at some of the mistakes they make. Because gmail was hacked a few years ago I get a couple emails a year from someone who shows me my old password and claims to have taken control of my computer (as if hacking an email account could do that) and they have saved video of my webcam of me visiting porn sites and such. Always ask for a different amount sent to a bit coin account. I tried tracing one email and it came from somewhere in Poland. Considering my desktop does not have a webcam it would be really hard to save video from it.
     
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  9. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    When the President of Indonesia visited the Soviet Union in the late 50s, so the story goes, they prepared a 'honey trap' for him -- and filmed him making love to a couple of pretty KGB girls. When he was shown the films, he thanked the KGB agents, and asked for a dozen copies so that he could have them shown all over Indonesia, where they would boost his popularity greatly. Probably one of those stories which is too good to be true.
     
  10. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    No one who is even slightly legitimate uses the phone, not for anything. It is right below email as a legitimate business tool. if a debt collector harasses you, you can sue him for 3x the total amount of the debt, plus damages and suffering.
     
  11. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Donor

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    This scam doesn’t sound sophisticated to me. Same scam as always.
     
  12. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well, everything is relative.
    It's sophisticated compared the emails I keep getting from a Nigerian Princess whose father has stolen fifty million dollars and who wants to transfer half of it to my bank account, if only I'll give her its number.

    And while we're probably automatically on our guard when dealing with used car salesmen and investment advisors and politicians, apparently those who study these things say we tend to reflexively defer to and admire the military and the medical profession. So here is a scammer who has the aura of both around him, not even trying to sell you something, just trying to make sure you get your payments from the VA ... and he even starts by thanking you for your service.

    So I think it's easy to see how if one of these scum spends a few hours ringing up veterans, he'll hit it lucky often enough to make this despicable ploy worth his while. If these people ever get caught, they should get the Willie Peter treatment for skin disease, guaranteed to work.
     
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