Eligible veterans already enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care program can elect to receive medical treatment in their own communities through the Veterans Choice Program (VCP). But now a scam phone line has popped up, possibly trying to defraud vets seeking more information about this option.
The VA is warning vets to beware of this fraudulent phone number posing as the VCP helpline: 800-606-8198.
The correct VCP helpline, 1-866-606-8198 toll-free, provides information on requirements and eligibility for the program, among other services. The imposter phone line may be intended to reach vets who inadvertently dial the VCP number incorrectly.
Callers will know they have reached the wrong number when:
- The phone line offers callers a $100 rebate if the caller provides a credit card.
- The phone line does not state the caller has reached U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or VCP phone line.
- Callers should note that operators on this scam phone line might incorrectly state that callers have reached the VCP if asked.
The Veterans Health Administration Office of Community Care (VHA CC) has reported the “mimic” line to the VA Office of Inspector General for a possible civil or criminal investigation.
Additional VCP Resources
In addition to the phone line, veterans may visit: https://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ for more information about the program. VCP eligibility requirements include:
- Not being able to get an appointment at your local VA medical facility within 30 days;
- Your current residence is more than 40 miles from the closest VA medical facility;You need to travel by air, boat or ferry to the VA medical facility closest to your home; and
- You are faced with an excessive burden due to traveling to the closest VA medical facility based on geographic challenges, environmental factors, a medical or other specific factors as determined by your clinician.
Additional eligibility information is available at the correct VCP phone line 1-866-606-8198 toll-free. If you are unsure if you have reached the correct phone line, VHA CC recommends hanging up and dialing 1-866-606-8198 toll-free again. The phone line will state that the caller has reached the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Unfortunately, scammers frequently target veterans and their families. Vets should also be on guard against requests for personal or financial information, including Social Security and driver’s license numbers and bank or credit accounts, in unsolicited phone calls.