Protect your VA Card (Veterans Identification Card, aka VIC, which has been issued since 2004) against identity theft like you would your Social Security card. Leave home without it if you do not need it for an appointment. Don’t hand it to anyone but a VA employee. If you are using it for a purchase discount, be careful it is not scanned. The reason?
While the card intentionally does not have your Social Security Number written on it, “[s]ome barcode readers, including those available as applications on cell phones, can scan the bar code on the front of the card, and reveal the veteran’s social security number,” says the VA.
Don’t feel uninformed if you had not received prior notification. The VA only revealed the problem on their website in December 2011 and July of this year. Otherwise it seems to have been mum. And despite the ire of Congressmen Gus Bilirakis’ (Florida), the Vice Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, don’t expect an immediate solution.
A spokesperson for the VA has said they’ve begun work on the next generation ID card which will fix the problem. However, it’s not being rolled out until next year — supposedly.
Consider yourself now advised.
As of 26 November 2013