Anyone with a smartphone and a bar code app can scan any Department of Veterans Affairs identification card issued since 2004 and the cardholder's Social Security number immediately pops up on the screen. The Department of Veterans Affairs published warnings about the veterans information cards (VICs) on their website in 2011 and again in July, 2013. The alert states, "Some 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." VA has begun to work on a new type of card, which will not contain a Social Security number. Meanwhile, veterans should treat their current ID cards as just a careful as they do their Social Security card to prevent identity theft.
For more updates on military benefits programs, visit the Military Advantage blog.