VA offering free credit counseling following records discovery | News
Last week a box was found in an unoccupied storage room at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff.
Inside the box was the personal information, including social security numbers, of as many as 589 veterans.
Although there is no indication the information was accessed or used by unauthorized personnel, the VA will offer free credit monitoring for every veteran whose name was contained in the box, according to a news release from the medical center.
Veterans will receive a letter of notification and, where appropriate, an offer of credit monitoring for one year at no charge.
Medical Center Director and CEO Marj Hedstrom said “VA places the highest priority on safeguarding the personal information of our veterans.”
She has also initiated a comprehensive investigation to determine how the box wound up in the storage room and whether the health and personal records were compromised.
Veterans who believe they may have been affected by this incident but have not been notified by VA may verify whether their information was involved by writing to: John J. Pershing VA Medical Center Privacy Officer, 1500 N. Westwood Blvd., Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 63901.
Affected Veterans can request a free credit report for one year from one or more of the three national credit bureaus by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
Information about this and other protections, including placing a “fraud alert” on credit accounts, is available by calling the Federal Trade Commission at its toll free number, 1-877-438-4338, or by visiting its website, http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft.
If Veterans have questions about identity theft, they can contact VA's Office of Identity Safety at VAidtheft@va.gov or call VA's toll-free identity safety number at 1-855-578-5492.