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Being Vigilant of Scams

We have seen this type of warning before, but the below article reminds us to be ever vigilant. Being informed about how your spouse's installation and unit deal with notifications will help you to avoid becoming victim to these awful types of scams.

Red Cross Warns of Scam Targeting Military Families

Military families should be wary if they receive a call, apparently from the Red Cross, informing them that an active-duty military relative has been hurt: It could be a scam.

The American Red Cross has recently learned of an incident in Bartow, FLthat matches that of a phone scam that has previously occurred in other parts of the country, abusing the Red Cross brand, according to local Red Cross spokesman Phil Attinger.

A person calls a military spouse or family member and identifies himself or herself as a representative from the Red Cross. The caller states that the soldier was hurt while being deployed overseas and is being transported for treatment. The caller may ask for additional information about the military staff person; for example, date of birth or Social Security number. In a subsequent call, the caller updates the family member and asks for a donation to the Red Cross to help cover the cost of the airlift and medical care, Attinger said.

This is a scam using the Red Cross brand. American Red Cross representatives typically do not contact military members or military dependents when a service member has been injured or killed in action. Rather, the service member's Command or the casualty assistance branch of the respective military service branch contacts the primary next of kin when a service member has been injured or killed in action, Attinger said.

Military families are urged not to give out any personal information or money over the phone if contacted by unknown/unverified individuals, including confirmation that a family member is deployed. Should any military family member receive such a call, they are urged to report it to their local family readiness group or military personnel unit, Attinger said.

The American Red Cross ensures that the American people are in touch with their family members serving in the U.S. military by operating a communications network that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Attinger said. Through a network of employees and volunteers that link families during emergencies, the Red Cross provides communications for families left behind, assistance to veterans and preparedness courses for military personnel and their families.

For more information, or to make a donation to the Red Cross, Attinger advised using only the authorized Red Cross Web sites at www.redcross.org or www.icrc.org.

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