JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- No one earns their paycheck more than the men and women who defend our country. Scam artists are now using old tricks online on new targets; members of the American military.
"When you sign up for the military, it's a sign up for service, and pay is never mentioned as part of the good deal,” said U.S. Navy Adm. Robert Natter.
Natter spent 41 years in the Navy. From his start at the prestigious Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md, to consulting the Commander in Chief, he admits that the military pay is sufficient as long as thieves can't get a hold of it.
“We're a nation in grave, grave risk,” said Adm. Natter. “Because of the cyber capabilities out there of people who will do us harm."
Action News has learned cyber criminals recently rerouted a handful of soldiers' electronic monthly paycheck deposits onto prepaid debit cards. According to the Department of Defense, the scam artists hacked into multiple MyPay accounts, a website used for the military's payroll agency.
So far, all of the accounts that were hacked belong to soldiers at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Investigators are still trying to figure out if scam artists have targeted any accounts in Florida.
Cyber security expert, Philipp Graves, says hackers obtained account passwords with malware set to capture private information.
“These attackers were able to get that password and once they had the password they were able to reroute their paychecks to some other place that's completely beyond their control," said Graves.
Natter says the federal government needs to do more to crack down on cyber criminals.
"We, as a nation, have a threat here looming over us that will make Hurricane Sandy look like a rain squall."
Graves suggests you check your deposits frequently to make sure no suspicious activity appears on the account, always update your security software and avoid using a public computer to access private information like your bank account.