Phishing scam targets veterans

By Aaron Gilchrist - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A warning about what may be a new phishing scam targeting veterans. It's in the form of a text message related to V.A. benefits.

The methodology isn't that complex with these phishing scams; cast a wide net, maybe a thousand text message go out. They might apply to a hundred of the recipients, and if 10 people get taken the scammer can pat himself on the back.

"It was last week. I got three text messages in one day," said David Clements.

He was skeptical about every one of them. A series of messages on his cell phone warning about problems with different financial accounts, a scam he was familiar with. But one message was something new.

"It said it was the Veterans Administration. I said well, I've never been a veteran before, so I knew it couldn't be directed to me," said Clements.

The message reads "your unemployment benefits card has been limited." Then this message, like other two Clements got, directs the recipient to call a number.

"I actually googled all the numbers online and found that two of them had comments online that they link to a site asking for your credit card information," he said.

The sender of the message has a "" domain name, which suggests the message came from the Veterans Administration.

"If anyone received it, we hope they will do two things: disregard it and delete," said Darlene Edwards, Veterans Administration spokesperson.

The V.A. says this is the first it's heard about this text, and the message isn't from the government agency and is in no way official.

"Our communications methods would certainly not include a text message like this. It would certainly be something in the form of a letter, and it would certainly be far more official than this," Edwards said.

"I think it's just another way of somebody trying to get over on you, sounding official, that you'll respond to it and maybe they'll get lucky and get some information from you," said Clements.

The Veterans Administration has its security team looking into the message. But as a general rule of thumb, if you get an unexpected text about your finances, just delete it.

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