Red Cross Alerts Public to Scam Targeting Military Families

The Office of Investigations, Compliance and Ethics has been alerted to a scam targeting the families of military staff. A caller contacts a spouse or another family member of a military staff person and identifies himself/herself as a representative of the American Red Cross. The caller states the military staff person has been injured while on duty in Iraq and is being or will be air-lifted to Germany for treatment and care. 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 air-lift and medical care.

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 Service contacts the primary next of kin when a service member has been injured or killed in action.

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.

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