Ask Andy: Veterans scam

By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The methodology is not that complex with phishing scams, simply cast a wide net.  For example, send out a thousand text messages.  They might apply to 100 recipients.  If just one person gets taken, the scammer can pat himself on the back.

David Clements received a series of messages on his cell phone warning about problems with different financial accounts.

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

Clements was skeptical about all of them.  But one message said something new.

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

The message read, "your unemployment benefits card has been limited."

The message then directed Clements 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," Clements said.

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

Darlene Edwards, a Veterans Administration spokesperson, said she hoped people will not fall for the scam.

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

The VA said this was the first it had heard about this text, and the message is not from the government agency and is in no way official.

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

The Veterans Administration has its security team looking into the message.

As a general rule, if you receive an unexpected text message about your finances, just delete it.

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