GREENWICH, Conn., May 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterans Advantage, a veteran-led benefits program that helps patriotic companies create national discounts for those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and is a strong advocate for veterans' privacy, has alerted military and veterans not to use their government military IDs to get discounts. The use of official military IDs and military documents in civilian life is found to increase the risk of ID theft.
The organization further warns fellow veterans to avoid online military identity verification services that lure them with discounts or holiday sale promotions in order to sell their government's record of military service to retailers. These online startups engage in practices that violate veterans' privacy with the unnecessary and, in some cases illegal, collection of highly sensitive military information and unauthorized use of government military data.
As a Connecticut-based organization, Veterans Advantage has reached out to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal to address these poor data collection practices that put our servicemembers and veterans at high risk of identity theft. According to the FTC, military and veterans currently report twice the rate of ID theft than the general population. Senator Blumenthal, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, has confirmed he is investigating these issues.
Over the past few years, Veterans Advantage has been a staunch advocate for better protections and safeguarding sensitive military information. The program's founder has served as a national spokesman in reporting by the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, U.S. News & World Report, among others. Since inception over 15 years ago, the organization has employed these recommended protections in its own program with the VetRewards Card, the first secure military ID built to protect veterans' privacy.
"With Veterans Advantage, military, veterans and their families are protected against identity theft," pledges Scott Higgins, CEO, Founder and Vietnam War Veteran. "Our member services include protection of personal information with the VetRewards Card that safeguards the member's identity when redeeming Veterans Advantage discounts, and with complementary identity theft restoration services."
Veterans Advantage does not collect sensitive personal information or access government military service records. To qualify for a VetRewards Card, applicants affirm they are eligible with a military affidavit, a protocol used by the country's judicial courts to confirm military status. If military status is misrepresented, Veterans Advantage seeks legal remedy under U.S. criminal statutes for financial and identity fraud.
Veterans Advantage has a longstanding track record of success delivering new benefits and secure access to discounts for its qualified members, and is rated A+ by the BBB. Since its beginnings in 2000, it has issued over 1 million VetRewards Cards, and sponsored nearly a half million free cards for active duty and wounded veterans.
To further expand benefits and complement the VetRewards Card, the program recently released MILVET ID that provides free and secure registration for all military and veterans, and free services for companies to verify eligibility for military discounts.
About Veterans Advantage
Founded in 2000 by prominent Vietnam War Veterans, Veterans Advantage grants use of its royalty-free and licensing free marketing and technology platform to retail and travel industry leaders that create Veterans Advantage discounts redeemed with the VetRewards Card. The VetRewards Card is the first secure military ID card designed to protect Military and Veterans' privacy when verifying eligibility for military discounts. Veterans Advantage advocates for greater respect, recognition, and rewards for U.S. Active-duty, Military Veterans, Retired Military, Active and Retired National Guard & Reserve, and their families, from all periods and branches of service, who are enrolled in Veterans Advantage. Veterans Advantage Members receive exclusive Veterans Advantage discounts from Office Depot, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, CVS/pharmacy, National Passenger Railroad Corporation, "Amtrak", Greyhound, Ford Motor Company & Lincoln Motor Company, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Apple Inc., Dell Inc., Foot Locker, Target, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Worldwide Corp., Avis Budget Group Inc., and other leading brands. Veterans Advantage benefits plans include complimentary services and insurance coverage: $50,000 of Travel Guard Global MEDEVAC, VIP Concierge and travel assistance services, $5,000 in Accident "AD&D "Insurance, ID Theft Restoration Services, a prescription drug discount plan, custom personal financial planning services, and more. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2001, the company has been awarded the highest BBB rating of A+. More at www.VeteransAdvantage.com
Gerard Carney, FleishmanHillard
SOURCE Veterans Advantage