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Have you received a suspicious call from an organization claiming to represent or have affiliation with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)? Did the caller guarantee a lucrative payout for your disability compensation or pension claim for a “small fee”?
If so, you may be a target of a scammer. Recently, VA has seen an increase of fraudsters and non-accredited representatives who are targeting the pension benefits of elderly Veterans and their dependents and survivors.
VA is committed to defeating fraudsters, who target elderly Veterans, by educating them, their families, and all partners about the types of fraudulent tactics being used against them, including Pension Poaching.
Pension Poaching is the financial exploitation by an advisor who profits by artificially qualifying a claimant for VA pension benefits. The scheme often involves financial maneuvers such as advising claimants to hide their assets in trusts or annuity products sometimes resulting in lost investments and lucrative fees paid to the advisor. Pension Poaching is rapidly evolving as a preferred method used by criminals to defraud elderly Veterans, survivors, and their families who are eligible for VA benefits.
To avoid being a victim to these tactics, here are some helpful tips to remember when protecting yourself from fraud:
To report suspected activity, please contact the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) by calling 1-800-488-8244. You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting www.consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.
Protecting Veterans’ benefits against fraudulent activity is one of the best things everyone can do to honor them, their service and sacrifice.