The Bayonet

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

Around the Army: Scam website targeting Soldiers

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QUANTICO, Va., — The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command wants former and current service members to know there is a false website that is targeting the Army benefits website. The website claiming to be an official U.S. Army benefits website, using the web address www.usmilitarybenifit.org, is not an official U.S. Army website and it is not affiliated, nor endorsed in any way by the U.S. Army. Note the misspelling of the word “benefit” in the url.

The official “MyArmyBenefits” website can be found at http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil. This is the authorized U.S. Army benefits website and serves as the go-to source for all benefits and services available and continues to successfully assist Soldiers and their Families. Soldiers and former service members are required to use either their CAC or AKO login information to access the official website. As a reminder, the official site ends with “.mil.”

According to CID special agents, the primary purpose of the false website is to collect as many U.S. Army service members’ AKO email accounts and passwords. The bogus website also makes the false claim that “The US military has granted access to unclaimed and accumulated army benefits for the under listed active duty soldiers. Benefits not claimed within the stipulated period will be available for claims after 60 months.”

CID strongly recommends that Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, Army retirees and Family members avoid this website and ignore any information or claims posted on the site.

Most online scam attempts are easily recognizable as they are usually unsolicited emails or texts; hoax websites that contain misspelled words, punctuation and grammatical errors, and often ask for private information, such as an individual’s email address and password.

Cybercrime and Internet fraud presents unique challenges to U.S. law enforcement agencies, as criminals have the ability to mask their true identities, locations and cover their tracks quickly. Websites and accounts can easily be established and deleted in very little time, allowing scam artists to strike, and then disappear before law enforcement can respond.

The ability of law enforcement to identify these perpetrators is very limited, so individuals must stay on the alert and be personally responsible to protect both themselves and their loved ones.

CID strongly recommends that Soldiers, civilians and Family members who receive any suspicious or unsolicited emails should delete them immediately without response.

However, if you have provided any information to the My Army Benefits website or have received any correspondence from the website, take the following steps:

• Do not login to the website. • Do not respond to any emails. • Stop all contact if you have previously responded to any emails. • Immediately contact your local Information Assurance office if you accessed the website from a government computer or system.

Other cybercrime resources available are the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx and the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.

By reporting this cybercrime, one can assist law enforcement agencies in their investigations and help bring those responsible to justice. For more information regarding cyber crime and staying safe online, visit the CID Lookout or the Computer Crimes Investigative Unit webpage page at www.cid.army.mil.

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