Friday, June 8, 2018

Disabled veteran left homeless after being hacked

Gulf war veteran and family living in a U-Haul van after hacker stole disability benefits from online account
Dallas Morning News
David Tarrant, Enterprise writer
June 7, 2018

DENTON — Jeff Slaughter needs answers fast after his monthly disability check didn't show up in his bank account earlier this month. The disabled Persian Gulf War veteran said he was told by Department of Veterans Affairs officials late last month that his account was hacked.
Slaughter had been staying at a La Quinta Inn off Interstate 35 in Denton, waiting for new veteran housing to open in Houston. But after his account was hacked, his money ran out. Today, he's living out of a U-haul van in the hotel parking lot with his wife, son and two dogs. Hotel management lent him a fan, but it was still a rough night.

"We didn't get much sleep — hardly any," Slaughter said, standing outside the white van.
A VA spokeswoman said that its eBenefits program, which handles compensation for the nation's disabled veterans, has not been hacked. Instead, individual eBenefits accounts — which 4 million disabled veterans use to get benefit payments — have been fraudulently accessed. Jessica Jacobsen, a VA spokeswoman, said about 2,300 of 7.1 million eBenefits accounts have been compromised since August 2015.
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