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US Army Warns Troops Against Job Offers Amid Chinese Espionage Concerns

The US Army has warned its soldiers to be more cautious of various job offers and financial opportunities offered online as they may be used for espionage activities.

A memorandum issued last week said people linked to the military or who are knowledgeable about defense contracts may be targeted by suspicious job invitations that are typically “too good to be true.”

It further stated that foreign agents often use social media and other online networking sites such as LinkedIn, Reddit, and Discord to contact troops and civilian employees and gather sensitive information.

To lure subjects, these invites offer disproportionate payments and all-expenses-paid trips to China and other destinations.

Apart from active-duty personnel, family members are also being targeted, according to the service.

The Modus

According to the memo, most requests initiate with simple “getting to know you” questions, such as “where do you work, how old are you, and what are your hobbies.”

These usually unalarming questions increase in sensitivity over time, although the suspicious recruiter never directly or explicitly requests classified information. 

The memo noted that some questions may also involve gathering opinions on foreign policy and geopolitical concerns, such as Taiwan, Ukraine, and Israel.

The US Army is urging its members to report if a suspicious entity tries to recruit them or offer them money in exchange for information.

Chinese Recruitment Concerns

Earlier this month, the US and its allies warned that China is intensifying its campaign to recruit former Western military pilots and service members to train its own aviators.

These pilots can reportedly teach everything from air combat tactics, how to land on an aircraft carrier, and how to deal with Western counterparts.

“The [People’s Liberation Army] wants the skills and expertise of these individuals to make its own military air operations more capable while gaining insight into Western air tactics, techniques, and procedures,” a military bulletin reads.

Apart from the US, the Philippines also launched a probe into reports that a number of Chinese firms have been recruiting active and former members of the Philippine military for potential espionage.

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