CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — More than 10,500 U.S. military identification cards have been fraudulently used by South Korean cell-phone dealers, according to a confidential Department of the Army memo.

The memo, obtained by Stars and Stripes and dated Jan. 4, refers to an investigation by the Cyber Computer Unit (CCU) of the Korean National Police.

The CCU reported to the Camp Casey-based 19th Military Police Battalion (CID), 6th Military Police Group, that South Korean national cellular phone dealers near U.S. Army installations routinely copied U.S. soldiers’ IDs when they purchased a cell phone.

“Investigation by the CCU revealed the phone dealers were selling the identities of the soldiers to unscrupulous individuals who in turn initiated cell phone accounts with the soldiers’ identities,” the memo states. “This was done in an effort by these individuals to disguise their true identities from law enforcement.”

When reached for comment, CID refused to offer details on its memo.

“For the past two years CCU identified approximately 10,500 ID cards, all belonging to U.S. soldiers throughout South Korea that were fraudulently used by the phone dealers, of which about 85 percent of the 10,500 victims (8,400) were identified as soldiers in Area I,” the memo continued.

Because the case is still under investigation, the Korean Police Department said it would not release any further details.

The 2nd Infantry Division, which occupies bases in Area I, referred questions about how the problem occurred, what would be done about it and whether it was a force-protection concern to U.S. Forces Korea public affairs. A USFK spokeswoman did not supply comment.

The memo recommends soldiers be made aware that they should not release a copy of their ID card to any off-post business.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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