Pennsylvania (WTAJ) – The Pennsylvania Department of Veterans Affairs (DMVA) warns veterans about scammers trying to steal military pensions.
Pension traffickers often target veterans over age 65 or veterans with disabilities who may be receiving monthly pensions from the DMVA and/or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) It’s financial exploitation.
Veteran pension trafficking occurs when fraudsters, unscrupulous players, or dishonest financial planners solicit veterans or their advocates for assistance in applying for or applying for military pensions.
The schemes often involve financial manipulation, such as advising claimants to hide assets in trusts or annuity products, which can result in the loss of investments and pay advisors favorable fees. .
Here’s how veterans and advocates can protect themselves from PACT Act fraud.
- Do not provide personal, medical, financial or veteran benefits information online or over the phone. Federal agencies will not contact you unless you request it.
- Do not click on online advertisements or engage in social media that may appear questionable.
- Look for “https://” at the beginning of the website address. That is, they are more likely to be legitimate. Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts if possible.
- Do not share your VA login information or deposit VA benefits directly into a third party’s bank account.
- Work with veteran service providers you already know.
- If you suspect fraud, please report it to ftc.gov.
“Older veterans can be prime targets for scammers, but all veterans and their advocates should be vigilant when seeking help with the benefits of military service,” it said. Joel Mutschler, Director of DMVA Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration and Outreach Office, said. Use Service Officers, these trusted counselors charge no fees for their services and always protect the best interests of veterans.”
Mutschler said he wanted to be clear that veterans and their advocates should not pay for:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and/or PA DMVA Forms
- Pension application fee
- Asset restructuring to make it “qualified”
- Promise of Pension Eligibility
- pension lump sum
Pennsylvania has approximately 200 veterans employees, working within organizations such as the DMVA, county veterans’ offices, and several veterans service organizations.
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Experience or suspect pension fraud? Call (717) 783-1944, email PAvets@attorneygeneral.gov, or file a complaint online at www.attorneygeneral.gov. You can also report VA-related fraud to the VA Benefits Hotline at 800-827-1000.