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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is warning consumers about a telephone scam targeting veterans who misdial the Veterans Choice Program phone line.

Scammers have set up a phone line with a nearly identical phone number to the Choice Program. The only difference is the area code. And instead of offering information on the Choice Program or eligibility criteria, the scammers offer a cash rebate if the caller provides a credit card number.

Consumers should always take caution when asked to provide a credit card number over the phone. Moreover, according to the VA, veterans calling the Choice Program would never be asked for credit card information. The VA also advises veterans to pay attention to how the phone is answered. The correct phone line automatically states the caller has reached the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” while the scam line informs callers they have reached the “Veterans Choice Program.”

Remember: the correct Choice Program phone line is 1-866-606-8198, while the imposter phone line is using 1-800-606-8198.

Consumers with questions about the Veterans Choice Program can call 1-866-606-8198. Veterans and their beneficiaries who suspect they are at risk for identity theft should contract the VA Identity Safety Service

The Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services can also provide information on state and federal benefits, including details about where and how to apply.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

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