Protect Your Pay: 6 Ways to Stop Scams Targeting Servicemembers, Retirees

Protect Your Pay: 6 Ways to Stop Scams Targeting Servicemembers, Retirees
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

The military community has hundreds of millions of reasons to remain vigilant in thwarting online fraud. But while threats have become more complex in recent years, one familiar target remains: Scammers posing as representatives of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the online portal for millions of servicemembers, veterans, and others receiving DoD payments.


It’s far from a new phenomenon: Alert MOAA members flagged a 2015 imposter scam designed to separate myPay account holders from their money. Just last year, multiple Army installations, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., put out DFAS-connected scam alerts.


[JULY 17 MOAA WEBINAR: Protect Yourself, and Your Family, From Cybercrime]


Keep your name off the victim list by following these six steps, courtesy of DFAS, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Military OneSource, and other resources:


1. Contact Tracking: DFAS will not contact account holders over the phone about problems with their accounts. A typical scam involves an imposter informing the account holder that they’re about to receive a new payment … all they have to do is confirm their account information over the phone. Be safe – hang up.


2. Don’t Over-Share: Keep your myPay credentials to yourself – don’t share with third-party apps. Only log in via


3. Pay the Right Way: DFAS will not ask for repayments or disburse funds via payment apps or wire transfers. If an email seemingly from DFAS suggests PayPal or Venmo as a way to settle accounts, it’s a scam.


[RELATED: Camp Lejeune Justice Act Scams: How Veterans Can Protect Their Benefits]


4. De-Pressurize: Scams of all types rely on the victim to act without taking full stock of the situation. If you find yourself being rushed into a decision regarding your DFAS account, it’s a real red flag. Still not sure? Slow the conversation by asking basic questions – how did the caller get your information? What is their full name and agency title/affiliation? Flipping the script may help ID a scammer.


5. Mind Your Devices: You may steer clear of unsolicited emails or phishing attempts, but if your device is infected with malware or you use an unsecure wireless network, scammers still could score critical personal information. Be careful where you login, and avoid clicking on links in any unsolicited communications, not just those related to military compensation.


6. Go to the Source: If you’ve received any communication from DFAS and you’re not fully certain it’s legitimate, call 1 (888) 332-7411 to speak to a (real) DFAS representative, or send your question to DFAS via one of their official online support systems.


[RELATED: Scams Cost Veterans, Military Retirees $350 Million in 2023]


Want more ways to combat scams of all sorts? MOAA partners with the Cybercrime Support Network's Military and Veteran Program, which aims to protect servicemembers, veterans, and military families from falling victim to fraud. Find more information on their blog.


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