Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

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RetiredAL
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Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by RetiredAL » Sun May 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Heads up to retired military people --

While at my elderly Dad's yesterday, a letter came from the Dept of Veteran Affairs stating that his Direct Deposit Information had been changed. The letter was dated 5/4, and arrived 5/11. At this point, we consider this to likely be a hijacking, as he did not make or request a change. At this point, we have no further info as to how, as the regular DFA VA offices are closed on the weekend, so he will call them Monday. Since the direct deposits are issued at month end, no money is yet missing.

I was there Saturday as part of my every other week visit, where part of what I do is go over all of his mail and file various auto-pay statements. Thus, I timely got to see the letter. At first he did not understand its implications because in part he had noted the regular deposit had already occurred. He checks those kinds of thing regularly. At 93+, some things are sharp, others not so. I'm blessed to still have him.
Last edited by RetiredAL on Sun May 13, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SeeMoe
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by SeeMoe » Sun May 13, 2018 7:49 pm

RetiredAL wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 3:05 pm
Heads up to retired military people --

While at my elderly Dad's yesterday, a letter came from the Dept of Veteran Affairs stating that his Direct Deposit Information had been changed. The letter was dated 5/4, and arrived 5/11. At this point, we consider this to likely be a hijacking, as he did not make or request a change. At this point, we have no further info as to how, as the regular DFA offices are closed on the weekend, so he will call them Monday. Since the direct deposits are issued at month end, no money is yet missing.

I was there Saturday as part of my every other week visit, where part of what I do is go over all of his mail and file various auto-pay statements. Thus, I timely got to see the letter. At first he did not understand its implications because in part he had noted the regular deposit had already occurred. He checks those kinds of thing regularly. At 93+, some things are sharp, others not so. I'm blessed to still have him.
Get in touch with the V.A. Immediately, then his bank too. Make a copy of the letter and also do not answer the mailer until sure about the situation. Be careful...

SeeMoe.. :annoyed
"By gnawing through a dike, even a Rat can destroy a nation ." {Edmund Burke}

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OAG
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by OAG » Sun May 13, 2018 7:53 pm

I am almost sure the letter provided a phone number to call if he DID NOT request the change. If so Just follow the instructions to call on Monday. I am sure they can rectify the situation quickly without loss (or if necessary restitution of any money involved). Maybe helpful if you could be there or to set up conference call so that you could assist. Good to see you are making yourself available to help your Father.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979.

livesoft
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by livesoft » Sun May 13, 2018 7:54 pm

I would not be surprised if this was nothing more than an address change for the bank. Or even maybe a name change: Big Bank, NY -> Big Bank, N.A.
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RetiredAL
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by RetiredAL » Sun May 13, 2018 11:04 pm

Thanks all. I'm not looking for suggestions at this point. The post was made many as a PSA.

Livesoft - Let hope its something as simple as that, but he's been with the same often talked about Mega bank for 40+ years and the account number has not changed within the last 15 years, or has the bank changed its routing number. Whatever it is, we/he sure didn't initiate it.

OAG - I like your "handle". My Dad is a 4 war veteran: WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and Cold War. He entered into the Navy straight out of High School in 1943 and retired as a LCDR thirty years later.

SeeMoe - That is the plan, he will contact them Monday. Most things are in the Trust's Name, I am the Trustee, and nothing else appears abnormal at this point. I can't seem to put my fingers on the articles I've read in the past 6 months, but evidently the recent Identify Fraud trend have been more about intrusions such as this into retirement systems, compared than the old type of create an account, grab some merchandise, then run.

Nate79
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by Nate79 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:24 pm

Does the phone number in the letter match the actual phone number you can find online? I would be worried about fake letters as a scam.

RetiredAL
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by RetiredAL » Mon May 14, 2018 12:12 am

Nate79 --
Yes, the phone number matches the VA's listed benefits number. The backside of the letter lists all kinds of mail contact points, which also check out. This is an actual letter, not an email. It's not asking to validate anything. It just states there was a change made to the Direct Deposit Information and if he did not request this change to contact them.

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alpenglow
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by alpenglow » Mon May 14, 2018 9:10 am

I'm curious to see how this plays out. Good luck.

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lthenderson
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by lthenderson » Mon May 14, 2018 9:41 am

RetiredAL wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 11:04 pm
Thanks all. I'm not looking for suggestions at this point. The post was made many as a PSA.

Livesoft - Let hope its something as simple as that, but he's been with the same often talked about Mega bank for 40+ years and the account number has not changed within the last 15 years, or has the bank changed its routing number. Whatever it is, we/he sure didn't initiate it.
Is it really a Public Service Announcement if it really was something simple as an address change at the bank or even an error on the VA's part? If it turns out to be nothing, you are causing a lot of worry to others unnecessarily. I would wait until all facts were present before attempting to give a public warning.

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Pajamas
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by Pajamas » Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:41 am
If it turns out to be nothing, you are causing a lot of worry to others unnecessarily.
Even if it turns out to be something, the notification letter seems to have done its job as a safeguard.

The underlying issue here is difficulties in managing finances due to advanced age.

In some instances, such as with many utilities, an account holder can designate a secondary person to be notified of any potential problems.

Perhaps that is possible with the V.A.

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CyberBob
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by CyberBob » Mon May 14, 2018 10:24 am

Have you checked the MyPay section of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service?
https://mypay.dfas.mil

RetiredAL
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by RetiredAL » Mon May 14, 2018 2:57 pm

Update:
My Dad did call VA Benefits this morning and I can confirm that his Direct Deposit was was being hijacked - the new Routing and Account numbers were not his. Since this was mid month, no actual $ was involved. They spent extra time confirming he was the real owner and now his account is now flagged for higher security. He was quite happy with their service.

They were unable to tell him if the bogus change was via paper or telephone. They did confirm that there was no computer ID, so that was not the access path.

Pajamas -- Yes, making sure our elderly parents are watched after physically and financially is a task. I manage all of his financial affairs. I am joint on all of his bills and accounts that are not controlled via the trust, except for his military retirement, as we never saw a need for that until now. All of his routine bills are set to auto-pay via one method or another. Most daily items are charged to a credit card which I monitor. He ( and I) is fortunate enough his that retirement pay and Social Security exceed his expenses by a significant amount.

A negative to me being joint on his accounts is the credit people don't know enough of what's going on, thus they say I have too much credit card debt along no mortgage debt. I guess they don't understand that some people do own their homes free and clear, thus only card usage shows as being active. This last year, 2 of the 3 credit bureaus refused my annual report request because I have too many addresses in their lists - my house, my Dad's house, and his vacation home.

So to recap, the VA notification letter appears to have prevented a loss. All is well pending the receipt of his next pay.

livesoft
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by livesoft » Mon May 14, 2018 3:56 pm

Wow. Thanks for the update. I suppose no one will actually go after the perp. They probably did a handful of these re-directs.

You saw what was reported by Mexican banks today.
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meebers
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by meebers » Mon May 14, 2018 7:21 pm

RetiredAL wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 2:57 pm
Update:


So to recap, the VA notification letter appears to have prevented a loss. All is well pending the receipt of his next pay.
Thanks for the notification, will keep my guard up as well. RetAF.

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alpenglow
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by alpenglow » Tue May 15, 2018 7:34 am

Thanks for the sharing the outcome here. Like you, I handle my parents' accounts and I'm always on the lookout for this sort of stuff.

retiredjg
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Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Post by retiredjg » Tue May 15, 2018 7:37 am

Wow. Guess it did turn out to be a PSA after all. Glad all is turning out OK.

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