WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 12, 2008) -- A "phishing scam" targeting the Families of fallen Soldiers reportedly has con artists promising compensation in exchange for information that might aid them in identity theft.

The scam artist pretends to be from the Defense Finance and Accounting Office or the Army Human Resources Command, according to an Army G3 Information Paper. The Families of deceased Soldiers are informed that they are entitled to monetary compensation in excess of $12 million that will be available to them in one week of responding to the request for additional information.

The Families are instructed to provide sensitive personal information, such as social security number, date of birth, address and other facts about the deceased Soldier.
They are instructed to either visit the Army Human Resources Command offices in Alexandria, Va., or e-mail the information to an overseas Yahoo account.

Angela Sykes, an operations security officer with Army G3, said that the scammers reportedly get the name of fallen Soldiers from the Web, then either call or e-mail Families with the same last name in the Soldier's hometown.

"We sent word to all the OPSEC program managers ... and asked them to disseminate the information to their personnel," Sykes said.

The Army Human Resources Command asked that the field be advised of the phishing scam after the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center learned what was happening.

The Army Installation Management Command was notified of the scam, along with the Family, Morale Welfare and Recreation Command. These commands then alerted Family Readiness Group liaisons to further disseminate the information.