The American Red Cross has learned about a new scam that targets military wives and husbands whose spouses are overseas.
The Red Cross is there for military families when they need them the most. If there is a crisis on the home front, the organization will contact soldiers abroad.
“We are often communication between states and overseas. So if [there is a] crisis [we want to] be sure we can get the message to the family member,” says Susan Holmes of American Red Cross.
However, a scammer is taking advantage of military families by contacting military spouses in the states and identifying themselves as a representative of the American Red Cross.
The caller states the spouse's husband was hurt on duty in Iraq and was evacuated by MEDIVAC to a Germany hospital.
Holmes said, “The Red Cross doesn't make that call. It will be the military official.”
The scammer tells the military spouse at home, they can not perform treatment until paperwork is accomplished and they need to verify the military member's social security number and date of birth.
In the most recent case, the spouse was quick to catch on and didn't provide information and officials warn everybody to do the same.
Dothan Police Capt. Nick Monday says, “Never ask for personal information, but if it sounds suspicious, call the Red Cross commander or military to verify.”
Then, make sure to report the scam to local police and the Family Readiness Group.
Fort Rucker released a statement Thursday in reference to what they called the most heinous of scams.
They said the United States Army would never use the Red Cross to call an Army spouse to get that kind of information. In addition, the Army would never use the Red Cross to notify next of kin of a casualty.
It is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, for a person to falsely pretend to be a member of the Red Cross.