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DMVA Warns Veterans Should be Aware of Pension Poaching Scams

06/15/2021

Annville, PA - Pennsylvania veterans should be aware of people trying to poach their pension, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) warned today. Pension Poaching is a financial scam targeting veterans, survivors, and their families who are potentially eligible for VA benefits.

“With today being World Elder Abuse Prevention Day, it is the perfect time to raise awareness about military pension poaching, especially since the older veterans are prime targets for scammers,” said Joel Mutschler, director, DMVA Bureau of Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration, and Outreach. “Veterans served and sacrificed with great pride and deserve their pension. No one should ever deny a veteran an important benefit that they earned protecting our freedoms.” 

Veteran pension poaching occurs when scammers, unscrupulous players or dishonest financial planners charge veterans or their beneficiaries for help in applying for or submitting applications for VA pensions.  

Mutschler said he wants to make it clear that veterans or their advocates should never pay: 

  • For forms or to submit applications 
  • To restructure assets in order to “qualify” 
  • For the promise of eligibility for a pension
  • To receive a lump sum payment on a pension

“Pennsylvania has numerous accredited veteran service officers available who are eager to help veterans prepare claims and apply for benefits free of charge. These are experienced and certified professionals who are well-trained and provide great advice to veterans,” he added. 

There are approximately 200 veteran service officers in Pennsylvania who work within organizations such as the DMVA, county veterans affairs offices and several veterans service organizations. 

A complete list of county directors and their contact information can be found at the County Directors of Veterans Affairs. Contact information for veteran service officers can be found at the Veteran Service Officers Contact Information.

Experienced or suspect a pension scam? Call (717) 783-1944, email PAvets@attorneygeneral.gov, or submit a complaint online at www.attorneygeneral.gov.

Visit DMVA online at www.dmva.pa.gov or follow us at www.facebook.com/padmva or www.twitter.com/padmva

MEDIA CONTACT: Joan Nissley - jnissley@pa.gov

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