NCIS issues warning for sailors falling victim to financial scam targeting financial institutions

MAYPORT, Fla. — The Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is issuing a strong warning to service members across the Tri-Base area regarding a sophisticated loan scam targeting financial institutions primarily serving military personnel.

The affected region includes North Florida, Kings Bay, Mayport, and Jacksonville, where numerous service members have already suffered significant financial losses.


The scam reportedly operates by approaching victims in public areas, typically with more than one person on foot or in a vehicle. The scammers ask where the nearest financial institution is located and/or if the victim banks with a specific financial institution. If the victim confirms, they are then asked to meet at the financial institution. At this point, the scammer will request to use the victim’s phone for various reasons, such as claiming they misplaced their debit card or are locked out of their account. To add to the deceit, the victim is often bribed with a sum of money for their assistance.

NCIS has outlined several precautionary measures for service members:

  • Never give your phone to another person.
  • Do not offer financial transaction assistance to individuals approaching you in a parking lot.
  • Avoid unlocking your phone or financial accounts in the presence of unfamiliar persons, as this provides an opportunity for fraud.

It is important to note that most financial institutions will not reimburse stolen funds if the victim voluntarily provided their phone or unlocked their banking app.

If a service member feels threatened or pressured to provide their phone, they should immediately leave the area and contact the local police by calling 911.

Victims or those targeted by the scam should take immediate action by reporting to their local police department, NCIS, and their command if they are military personnel.

Additionally, they should notify their bank. Reports can also be submitted to NCIS via the NCIS Tips mobile app or on the NCIS website.

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