Heads Up - A Military Spouse Scam

I just received a notice in my email from our family support center about a scam that is targeting military families. 

The email, as I received it, is posted after the jump.  Please take the time to inform yourself of the situation - that's your protection. 

New Scam Targeting Military Spouses: The American Red Cross has learnedabout a new scam targeting military families. This scam takes the formof false information being told to military families as described below:

The caller (young-sounding, American accent) calls a military spouse andidentifies herself as a representative from the Red Cross. The callerstates that the spouse's husband (not identified by name) was hurt whileon duty in Iraq and was med-evacuated to a hospital in Germany. Thecaller states they couldn't start treatment until paperwork wasaccomplished, and that in order to start the paperwork they needed thespouse to verify her husband's social security number and date of birth.In this case, the spouse was quick to catch on and she did not provideany information to the caller.

American Red Cross representatives typically do not contact militarymembers/dependents directly and almost always go through a commander orfirst sergeant channels. Military family members are urged not to giveout any personal information over the phone if contacted byunknown/unverified individuals, to include confirmation that your spouseis deployed. 

It is a federal crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, for aperson to falsely or fraudulently pretend to be a member of, or an agentfor, the American National Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting,collecting, or receiving money or material .In addition, American RedCross representatives will contact military members/dependents directlyonly in response to an emergency message initiated by your family. TheRed Cross does not report any type of casualty information to familymembers. The Department of Defense will contact families directly iftheir military member has been injured. Should any military familymember receive such a call, they are urged to report it to their localFamily Readiness Group or Military Personnel Flight.

The American Red Cross ensures that the American people are in touchwith their family members serving in the United States military byoperating a communications network that is open 24-hours, 7 days-a-week,365 days-a-year.  Through a network of employees and volunteers at RedCross national that link families during emergencies, access toemergency financial assistance, confidential counseling, communitysupport headquarters, local chapters, on military installations, anddeployed with troops, the Red Cross offers a broad range of services.Among these services, the Red Cross provides communications for familiesleft behind, assistance to veterans, and preparedness courses formilitary personnel and their families   For more information visit theAmerican Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/.

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