Scamming Military Families

THURSDAY 6-19-08…It is absolutely amazing to me how scam artists can come up with ways to separate a victim from their money. The latest scam is being reported by the American Red Cross. That organization reported that a mother in Austin, Texas got a call from scammers claiming her son had been injured in Iraq. The caller claimed to be from the Red Cross and asked for $5,000 for assistance for her son.

 

The Red Cross wants to make it clear that it does not call family members to share information when a service member is injured. That’s the responsibility of the branch of service and/or the member’s unit.

When a service member is injured, someone from his or her military branch of service calls the family. Whoever receives the phone call will be given an 800 number so they can call with questions or concerns. The 800 number goes directly to Military Casualty Assistance Officers…for use by families of the service member.

 

Families are never asked for money, nor asked for anything that will link to a bank account, credit card or any other financial information. If families believe someone has targeted them in this or any other scam, they should contact local law enforcement authorities.

Falsely or fraudulently pretending to be a member of, or an agent for, the American Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting, collecting, or receiving money or material is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

 

It’s a shame that in this modern-day society, scammers will even target the families of service members in an effort to steal money. However, being forewarned is being fore-armed. Don’t let it happen to you.

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