UPDATE: Wednesday, Rogers-Sanke said she received a direct deposit of the money she was owed
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV.com) - A Fairview Heights military veteran told News 4 her VA benefits were siphoned out of her account and she believes the Department of Veterans Affairs is doing little to stop it.
Shanaye Rogers-Sanke said she went to the ATM on Saturday only to find her account had insufficient funds. She said she got home and checked her e-benefits account.
“At that point I really noticed there was a problem because I was locked out of my account,” she said.
Rogers-Sanke receives a monthly disability check from her service in the Marines, something her family depends on.
“We’ve been receiving that benefit for 18 years to that very same account,” said Rogers-Sanke.
When she finally got a hold of someone from the VA, she said she was told her check had been re-routed to a different bank account.
A letter arrived Tuesday, days after her money was stolen. The letter stated the VA processed the January 20 request to change her direct deposit, and it has a 1-800 number to call if she didn’t authorize the change.
“They just changed it, they didn’t wait for a response from me,” she said.
The VA sent News 4 the following statement:
The ebenefits program has not been hacked. However, we have learned of individual accounts that have been fraudulently accessed.
Rogers-Sanke said she thinks what happened to her is not an isolated incident, stating she has read about similar incidents happening to other veterans.
An almost exact situation happened to a veteran in Colorado Springs and another in Kentucky. Right now, police in West Plains, Missouri are investigating a veteran’s check being re-routed.
The VA said they take fraud seriously, adding that in the last three years, less than 0.1 percent of ebenefits accounts have been hacked. When it does happen, the VA told News 4 it works to correct the situation quickly.