The two phone numbers differ only in the area code. The VA reports the fake line does not provide information on the Choice Program or its eligibility criteria, instead it offers callers a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card number.
The correct Veterans Choice Program is (866) 606-8198. The imposter phone line is using (800) 606-8198.
The VA says it would never ask veterans for their credit card information or offer this type of financial incentive through the Choice Program phone line.
VA officials are working with the Office of the Inspector General to take legal action to get the fake phone line shut down.
Veterans can tell if they dialed the correct phone number, if it automatically states the caller reached the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” The fake line will incorrectly confirm callers reached the “Veterans Choice Program” if the caller asks this question.
The VA also offering veterans its Identity Safety Service toll-free identity theft help line to Veterans and their beneficiaries who believe that they are at risk for identity theft. The number is (855) 578-5492. It operates Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.