October , 2018

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CHICAGO, IL - Members of the military and their families are the targets of a new scam using a website attempting to collect their personal and financial information, warns the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CIC).

The website is called “My Army Benefits” and is a fraudulent site designed to “collect soldiers’ Army Knowledge Online, email accounts and passwords,” according to the BBB. The site also falsely claims that “the U.S. military has granted access to unclaimed and accumulated benefits for active duty soldiers, and that benefits not claimed within the stipulated period will be available for claims after 60 months”. The website is not affiliated or endorsed by the U.S. Army.

“This new website scam is an attempt to use a website name that is very close to the Army’s official website of “MyArmyBenefits” at myarmybenefits.us.army.mil,” explained Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

“Official military websites will all have the .mil domain name,” notes BBB Military Line director Brenda Linnington. “Any other domain extension should be a red flag.” Other red flags include unsolicited emails or text messages; spelling, punctuation and grammar errors; requests for private information such as email addresses or passwords.

“Fraudulent websites are being taken down all the time. Unfortunately, new ones are constantly being created. We hear about new ones almost every day,” Linnington said. “Service personnel and veterans, as well as family members, need to be on the lookout for scams that target them.”

The Army’s CIC provided the following advice for anyone who has received correspondence from the fraudulent My Army Benefits website or provided information through it:

  • Do not log in to the website;
  • Do not respond to any emails;
  • Stop all contact if you have previously responded to any emails; and
  • Immediately contact your local information assurance office if you accessed the website from a government computer or system.

Bernas explained that the BBB Military Line was formed in 2004 to provide free resources in the areas of financial literacy and consumer protection to U.S. military communities through local BBBs across the U.S. and at bbb.org/military.  In the Chicago area, the BBB works with representatives at Naval Station Great Lakes in the northern Chicago suburb of Great Lakes.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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