Veteran Data Exposed in Recent Breach

Veteran Data Exposed in Recent Breach

Last month the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Financial Services Center reported that the personal identifying information (PII) of more than 46,000 veterans had been stolen. Social security numbers may have been included in the hack. The VA Financial Services Center is in process of alerting impacted individuals via mail.

 

If you are a veteran (or next of kin of a deceased veteran), we suggest that you be on the lookout for any signs of fraud.

 

– Continue to watch your credit and individual account statements for activity that you have not initiated.

 

– Do not respond to any emails, phone calls or direct messages from anyone saying that they are from the VA Financial Services Center. The VA will contact anyone impacted via mail only.

 

Please reach out to us immediately if you have any questions or concerns about this alert. Be smart. Be vigilant. Be strong. As always, we are available for you and your family members 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827) or memberservices@guardwellid.com.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Memorial Day Hacks and Hamburgers

Memorial Day Hacks and Hamburgers

Memorial Day is a special time of year to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the U. S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Visit History.com for more information.

 

Always the last Monday in May, this holiday also marks the unofficial beginning of summer fun … pool season, popsicles, and plenty of barbeques. Americans have traditionally observed Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. This year the weekend activities will likely look a bit different while social distancing, but we will continue to reflect on the sacrifices our soldiers made for us while lighting up our grills. Speaking of, take a visit to Chowhound.com for some amazing tips for the most perfect hamburger ever (80/20 lean to fat ratio ground chuck always!) and clever grilling hacks (Did you know you can use a spare a cooler as an insulated warmer to keep food hot and juicy right off the grill?). One tip you won’t see there is a favorite of mine … folding a dollop of mayo into each burger patty for optimal juiciness before they even go on the grill. Try it. You’ll love it!

 

Sadly, with the holiday, come the crooks that feed on our gratitude. Watch out for Memorial Day scams where hackers use a patriotic or military approach when contacting service members for money. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests to be on the lookout for three specific scams during this time of remembrance:

 

High-priced military loans. No legitimate lender will guarantee a loan as being instantly approved. Watch for ads that may also say no credit check is required. If this is the case, the loan will likely come with hidden fees as well as outrageously high interest rates.

 

Veterans’ benefits buyout plans. These plans offer an attractive cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran’s future benefits or pension payments. The cash payment is typically only 30-40% of what the veteran is entitled to receive.

 

Overpriced life insurance policies. The military are often targets of high pressure insurance salespeople, who want them to purchase an unnecessary and pricey life insurance policy.

 

Stay safe this weekend and please reach out to us if needed. As always, we are available 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827) and at memberservices@guardwellid.com. And, if you have any great grilling ideas of your own, please share them in the comments below.