VA to offer credit monitoring for veterans

| Friday, June 23, 2006

Officials have announced the federal government will offer one year of free credit monitoring to veterans whose information was stolen from a Department of Veterans Affairs employee's home in early May.

According to a news release, the department is in the process of soliciting bids from credit monitoring companies. Once a company has been selected, the department will send a letter to those whose information was included in the stolen data.

Anyone with questions should contact the department's toll-free number at 1-800-333-4636. The number was set up by the VA in May in response to the stolen data and is scheduled to be in operation from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday for as long as it is needed.

In the meantime, the VA is also urging veterans to take advantage of the free credit report they are entitled to under the law. Anyone is entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from one of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The reports can be ordered online at www.annualcreditreport.com .

Additional credit reports can be obtained for a fee by contacting any of the three companies. Fees vary by company.

The VA's web site, www.va.gov , also has information on what to do if you suspect there has been fraudulent activity in your name. You can place a fraud alert on your credit file by calling one of the three major credit reporting companies directly:

Once one company has been notified, the other two companies will be automatically notified of the alert.

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