12 Virginia veterans still waiting for explanation from VA on data breach

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Veterans who were victims of a data breach by the Veterans Administration say they have not heard from the agency, after it pledged more than a month ago to provide them with credit monitoring.

Documents containing social security numbers, financial payments, home addresses and the names of dependent children were mistakenly sent by the VA to the wrong person in late June. They came to James Graves, a U.S. Army veteran in Williamsburg.

Virginia veterans’ financial and family info compromised

Graves notified the VA, returned the documents, but first sent copies of the documents to each of the 12 veterans.

One of them was Gene Dettore, a U.S. Navy veteran in Virginia Beach.

“If it wasn’t for Mr. Graves’ sending it to me, and being the upstanding citizen that he is, I would have never known it.”

After the breakdown in the VA’s information security, a spokesman told 10 On Your Side that it would investigate, and change the way it handles sensitive information. It also pledged to contact the victims and offer them credit monitoring.

VA investigates, changes policy after local data breach

Six weeks after the incident, nothing.

“I have not been notified by them,” Dettore said. “Mr. Graves is the only one that’s reached out. It’d be nice if they’d just acknowledge that a mistake was made.”

Late Tuesday, the Department of Veterans Affairs sent us the following statement:

Veterans Benefits Administration officials are in the process of contacting the veterans affected by this error and providing them credit monitoring and other services to protect against fraud arising from this mistake.” – Curt Cashour, Press Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs

All of the victims were from Virginia. One is a former Navy SEAL.

“This is a violation of my privacy. It’s a direct reflection of the incompetence of the Veterans Administration, and shows they have no attention to detail.” He didn’t want to be identified for fear of repercussions from his employer. He works for the Veterans Administration.

Meanwhile, Dettore says he appreciates his GI Bill education and his VA mortgage, but he’s concerned if there’s another data breach, the victims might not be so lucky.

“They’ve got to find a way of not letting this happen again.”

10 On Your Side reached out to the Department of Veterans Affairs. They responded with a statement that said they are “in the process of contacting the veterans affected by this error — and providing them credit monitoring and other services to protect against fraud arising from this mistake.”