New phone scam targets veterans seeking health care

New phone scam targets veterans seeking health care
Posted at 3:33 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 15:33:03-04

As Memorial Day approaches, the Federal Trade Commission is warning about a new scam targeting veterans who are making decisions about their medical care.

The scammers set up a phone telephone line that closely resembles the Veterans Choice Program (VCP), which is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allows eligible vets to get approved health care outside of the VA system.

Veterans or families can call the VCP’s toll-free number to verify their eligibility for the program, according to the FTC.

However, the scammers have set up a phone line similar to the VCP, and confused consumers call and think they’ve reached the VCP.

“The fake line’s message says you’re entitled to a rebate if you provide a credit card number,” said Carol Kando-Pineda, attorney for the FTC’s consumer division. “But if you give up your account information, they’ll debit your account and you’ll get nothing in return.  There is no rebate and you’ll need to cancel your credit card.”

If you’re a veteran or if you’re helping one with health care, make sure you are calling the real number for the Veterans Choice Program: (866) 606-8198.

Veterans Affairs will not ask you for your financial account information over the phone.

Visit VCP’s site to learn more about the Veterans Choice Program.