VA responds to security breaches on eBenefits website

Danielle Leigh, KING 11:40 PM. PDT April 05, 2016
An Army veteran from Yelm has a warning for other veterans about security breaches on the eBenefits website maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
The website is a universal portal for managing retirement, healthcare and disability described as "a secure environment where you can safely access your personal information and perform self-service tasks."
Marvin Corbin had a much different experience. His account was hacked twice in just over six months.
Each time, Corbin says, his monthly disability check, which is automatically deposited in his bank account, was rerouted to a new account established by the hacker.
"Why would I change my bank account and put it on a Green Dot card? Why?" asked Corbin, as he remembered the first hacking incident last May. " I'm like, 'The landlord isn't going to understand this,' and we was like 'Other creditors ain't either.'" 
Then, it happened again just before Christmas, this time the hacker set up a fraudulent bank account at TD Bank. 
"One time, it's understandable. Things happen, but the second time it's kind of unbelievable," said Melissa Corbin, Marvin's wife. "It has everything, all of his medical records, all of his military records, all of our family's medical records." 
"We want to know who did it so we can prosecute," Corbin said.
While the VA acknowledged the fraud on both occasions and Yelm Police took a report, neither department has publicly identified the source of the leak.
The Department of Veteran's Affairs can't say for sure how many people have had their personal information stolen on this website because it only started separately tracking reports of fraud in August.
In a statement regarding fraud on the eBenefits website, the VA called it, "Too early to draw any conclusions regarding trends or identify specific causes."
From August to January, records show 713 people filed reports with the VA and 17 of them were in Washington.
The VA says, "It is committed to maintaining the security of eBenefits."
However, the Corbins aren't holding out hope.
Today, you won't see Marvin Corbin on his computer or the eBenefits website.
He's back to handling his finances the old fashioned way, on paper, and warning other veterans to be cautious.
"All I can say is keep all your paperwork, just in case, everything you got," Corbin said.
The VA wouldn't get into specifics about those reported cases of fraud saying the investigation is ongoing.
Protecting your identity on the eBenefits website is the same as with any website.
Advocates for identity theft victims warn users not to access the site in a public place, use complex passwords and be careful when sharing personal information like a social security number.