Those who serve the nation are finding themselves at a much greater risk of being the victims of cybercrime and identity theft, according to a recent study by the Federal Trade Commission.
Active duty service members are 76 percent more likely to report that an identity thief misused one of their accounts, such as a bank account or credit card, according to the FTC.
The report, released in May, also found that active duty service members are nearly three times as likely to report that someone used a debit card or some other electronic means to take money directly from their bank account.
This finding, according to the report, suggests that service members “are experiencing highly disproportionate instances of theft from their financial accounts compared to the general population.”
They are also 22 percent more likely to report that their stolen information was misused to open a new account, especially new credit card accounts.
Keeping a close eye on credit reports, which can help someone spot early warning signs, “can be difficult for active duty troops,” according to the FTC. “They report that creditors often send notices to old addresses, which may delay their ability to act on warning signs, such as bills from unknown creditors or unexpected credit card charges.”
The FTC said 20 percent of active duty service member reports indicate that they have already experienced two or more types of identity theft.
Kristin Judge, the CEO and founder of the Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) — a nonprofit working to fight cybercrime — said there are several reasons service members are susceptible to these crimes.