WASHINGTON, August 5, 2014 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it has launched a new campaign to educate Veterans about identity theft prevention. The new campaign, titled More Than a Number, references the personally identifiable information that VA encourages Veterans to protect.
"We recognize that for Veterans, as for all Americans in the digital age, identity theft is a growing concern," said Steph Warren, VA's Chief Information Officer. "Our goal is to help educate and protect those who have protected this great country."
VA's Office of Information and Technology recently announced the launch of a new website containing identity theft resources for Veterans and their beneficiaries. The website can be found at www.va.gov/identitytheft and features educational information, interactive multimedia and links to other online identity theft prevention resources. The campaign also includes a toll-free help line offering support for Veterans, their beneficiaries and VA employees who have questions and concerns about identity theft. The toll-free number is 1-855-578-5492, and it will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., EST.
In defending against identity theft, VA understands that awareness is critical. With More Than a Number, VA aims to educate Veterans on the risk of identity theft and how to avoid becoming a victim.
"Small changes can have big consequences," Warren added. "Little things like shredding banking statements before throwing them away or using strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts can make a significant difference in protecting your identity from thieves who may try to use your personal information."
VA takes seriously its obligation to properly safeguard any personal information within its possession and has in place a strong multi-layered defense to combat evolving cyber security threats. VA is committed to protecting Veteran information, continuing its efforts to strengthen information security and putting in place the technology and processes to ensure that Veteran data at VA is secure.
In the event of a loss of VA data, VA has safeguards in place to protect against identity fraud. Acting out of an abundance of caution, VA's standard practice is to provide free credit protection service enrollment, monitoring services and reports, fraudulent charge alerts, and fraud resolution and identity theft insurance to individuals affected by a VA data breach with a reasonable risk for the potential misuse of any sensitive personal information.
For additional information on identity theft, visit www.va.gov/identitytheft or contact the VA Identity Safety Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.