Morale: Scamming the Troops


June 11, 2007: The American Red Cross recently issued a rare warning to military families, to beware anyone calling them, saying they are from the Red Cross, and asking for social security numbers and other personal data, because a family member was wounded in Iraq and is on his way to a military hospital in Germany.

Military families, usually the wives of soldiers on duty overseas, are often approached by scammers taking advantage of the blizzard of military paperwork military dependents have to deal with. But perhaps the most heartless ploy, was the gang that checked the obituaries for military funerals, and then burglarized the home of the grieving family as they were at the funeral.

Young military personnel, especially those right out of basic training, have also been the target of numerous swindles, taking advantage of the fact that these troops are usually teenagers, still suffering shock and awe from the opaque military bureaucracy, and ready to believe anything. Unit commanders get periodic announcements from the Pentagon, to be read to the troops, and warn them of these ancient ploys, that continue to work on each new generation of recruits.


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