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ARLINGTON, Va. — Navy officials discovered the names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of 28,000 sailors and family members posted on a civilian Web site this week, potentially exposing thousands of people to identity theft crimes, service officials announced Friday.

The files have since been removed from the site, the Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs office said their release detailing the incident.

“There is no evidence that any of the data has been used illegally. However, individuals are encouraged to carefully monitor their bank accounts, credit card accounts and other financial transactions,” the release said.

It is unknown whether personal data involved any sailors or families stationed overseas, said Sharon Anderson, a spokeswoman for the chief of naval personnel.

“It’s possible,” Anderson said.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Naval Network Warfare Command are both investigating the incident, she said.

The Navy plans to notify all sailors whose personal data may have been compromised, Anderson said. She could not say whether the Navy will pay for credit checks for those affected by the incident.

Anderson said the incident is not related to the Department of Veterans Affairs recent revelation that personal data on 26.5 million veterans and active-duty members had been stolen. In May, a laptop with the personal information was stolen from the home of a VA employee, who was not authorized to take sensitive information home.

The VA initially said the laptop had personal information on veterans only, but later it announced that 2.2 million active-duty and Reserve servicemembers’ personal data was on the laptop.

Affected servicemembers and veterans in that crime will be eligible for free credit monitoring beginning in August.

For more information on the Navy incident, visit: www.npc.navy.mil.

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