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There are risks as well as benefits to using a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet to access bank or credit card account information or to make purchases or payments. This article describes some of these pros and cons and concludes with a series of tips intended to help Arizona consumers practice safe and secure mobile banking.
A marketing company has acquired and is using two toll free numbers which are VERY SIMILAR to Veterans Benefits Administration toll free numbers. The marketer is trying to get callers to sign up to receive a Wal-Mart gift card, and is asking for PII, 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.
This issue has been reported to the Office of the VA Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission for review.
The two numbers identified in this alert are:
* 1-800-872-1000 which is very close to our main number of 1-800-827-1000
* 1-888-442-4511 which is very close to our GI-Bill number of 1-888-442-4551
The VA is not participating in any gift card promotions. We have been advised of this situation and have referred the issue to our Office of the Inspector General and have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Please use caution when disclosing personal information as it could be a fraudulent situation.
The VA has reported this issue to the Office of the VA Inspector General and filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. They will be reviewing the situation to determine the appropriate course of action. If you feel you have disclosed your personal information to an unauthorized individual, please contact your credit card company and advise them of the situation, review transactions, and request that a new card number be issued. You may request a free credit report from credit reporting agencies. In addition, you should also contact the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 and file a complaint.
Identity Theft is a criminal act where another individual has used your name in order to:
· Make Purchases
· Use Credit Cards
· Rent an Apartment
· Obtain Medical Services
· Re-route your Tax Refund
· Impersonate you during contact with law enforcement
· Obtain utilities without your consent.
Even if you resolve matters regarding fraudulent credit card purchases with your bank, you may still receive letters and phone calls from debt collectors for items you did not purchase.
In addition, you may also receive negative entries on your credit report- resulting in increased interest rates and difficulties receiving credit.
If you have been a victim of Identity Theft, the Federal Trade Commission has created a helpful handbook called Taking Charge, that explains what to do if your identity is stolen.