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New Scam Targets Military Spouses

May 31st, 2007 . by TexasFred

New Scam Targets Military Spouses

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2007 – The American Red Cross is warning military spouses about a new identity-theft scam that targets family members of deployed troops.

The Red Cross was alerted of the scam earlier this month, said Devorah Goldburg of the Red Cross.

The scam involves a person with an American accent calling a military spouse, identifying herself as a representative of the Red Cross, and telling the spouse that her husband was hurt in Iraq and was medically evacuated to Germany. The caller then says that doctors can’t start treatment until paperwork is completed, and that to start the paperwork they need the spouse to verify her husband’s social security number and date of birth.

It is hard to determine how many spouses have been targeted by this scam, Goldburg said, as there are many ways for spouses to report problems like this. However, one confirmed report was enough for the Red Cross to act, she said.

“We know that it happened to one person; it was probably going to happen to others, and we wanted to be prudent and alert people,� she said.

American Red Cross representatives typically do not contact military members or dependents directly and almost always go through a commander or first sergeant, according to a Red Cross news release. Military family members are urged not to give out any personal information over the phone if contacted by unknown individuals, including confirmation that their spouse is deployed.

In addition, Red Cross representatives contact military members or dependents directly only in response to an emergency message initiated by a family member, the news release said. The Red Cross does not report any type of casualty information to family members; the Defense Department will contact families directly about family members’ injuries.

It is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, for a person to fraudulently pretend to be a member of, or an agent for, the American Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting, collecting, or receiving money or material, according to the news release. Any military family member that receives such a call is urged to report it to their local family readiness group or military personnel flight.

This Story From:
DefenseLink News Article: New Scam Targets Military Spouses

This can’t be said enough, DO NOT put any personal information like that on the web or give it out in an email, NEVER!

There are criminals out there that have NO ill feeling about ripping off a soldier or that soldiers family, and I would personally love to get hands on them but since that’s not going to happen, be careful and trust no one with your most personal, and vulnerable information…

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4 Responses to “New Scam Targets Military Spouses”

  1. comment number 1 by: Panhandle Poet

    This is one that if caught, the perpetrator should be publicly drawn and quartered. No tolerance.

  2. comment number 2 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    There’s a reason that I can, as a cop, take a statement from a suspect over the telephone and NEVER have to provide them their Miranda rights: it’s because YOU on the other end have the ABILITY to HANG UP whenever you wish.

    Same for stupid people. You should never, NEVER give ANYONE ANY kind of information over the telephone, the internet, e-mail or ANY form of PUBLIC COMMUNICATION SYSTEM.

    YOU have an OBLIGATION to KNOW to whom you speak. If you DON’T KNOW, then SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    I know it’s a scam but, c’mon folks, you have to have an IQ just slightly greater than that of the average HOUSE PLANT to do something as stupid as this.

    If you’re actually THIS brain dead, you deserve what you get — no matter WHO you are or your predicament. If you believe in the overall GOODNESS OF MAN you’ll spend your life as the prototypical “victim” no matter where you go.


  3. comment number 3 by: TexasFred

    BZ, I used to know a dumb bitch that DID fall for it, and admitted it too, said it took the 2nd time to break her of trusting ‘net spammers and scammers…

  4. comment number 4 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    One’s trust is inversely proportional to the agony caused by same.