Disability benefits stolen from decorated veteran

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 20:16:22-04

CADIZ, Ky. (WTVF) — A retired veteran of the Gulf War had his disability check stolen online and he doesn't know if he'll ever get the money back.

Roger Thompson spent 15 years in the Army. In retirement, he relies on his disability check from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

However, last month, Thompson received a strange email from the VA.

“I was receiving these notices from the VA that said that a request to change the direct deposit information was processed. Well, I never requested a chance if direct deposit,” said Thompson.

Even though Thompson tried to look into it, when he realized what had happened, it was too late. Someone transferred his monthly benefits check to another bank in Yonkers, NY.

“I’ve been to New York, but never to Yonkers,” said Thompson.

He contacted the VA who told him an investigation could take several weeks at least.

“At first I was angry. I was really really upset, of course, because what am I going to do? How am I going to take care of myself, my wife?”

Then, Thompson discovered something disturbing that he thinks could be how someone was able to access his online account.

“My Equifax was breached," he said. "My data was breached. I’m not sure if that’s how this person got a hold of my security number but it’s the only thing that I can assume has happened. Because I haven’t given my social security number to anybody."

Thompson said he's had to change the passwords and account numbers for his bank and all of the bills he pays.

“It’s been a big hassle. Really big hassle. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” he said.

He said he hopes no other veterans have to go through this.

NewsChannel5 contacted the Veterans Benefits Administration about this story but there has not yet been a response.

Thompson said he had to take out a loan to cover his bills.