Scam Targets Military Families

Jeremy Fisk, a veteran of the War On Terror
Jeremy Fisk, a veteran of the War On Terror
Janna Kiehl, Better Business Bureau
Janna Kiehl, Better Business Bureau

Military families beware, scam artists are now targeting you on the phone by lying about your loved one overseas. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg found out about one of the latest ways your identity could be stolen.

What's happening is people are posing as Red Cross representatives, calling military spouses or parents and telling them their soldier is wounded. Claiming they cannot receive treatment until they offer up their social security number for confirmation.

It's upsetting for military families to hear but they need to be aware of this.

"I'm accustomed to hearing about scams involving military members and their families but not as audacious where you are calling and it's such a breech of integrity," says Jeremy Fisk, a veteran of the War On Terror.

"I think it's low down and dirty it's wrong they shouldn't, but they do it anyway," says Mark Ellis, the parent of a Marine Reservist.

Military families in Amarillo are disgusted to hear about it, but not surprised.

"It's pitiful that they've stooped to these levels, unfortunately they do and it's up to you to protect yourself," says Janna Kiehl with the Better Business Bureau.

Janna Kiehl hears about all kinds of scams. She says everyone should always be weary when solicited on the phone.

"Scams typically tug at your heart strings, so they'll call up talk about a loved one thats in trouble and try to get information from you," says Kiehl. "Do not ever give out info when someone is calling you, if you didn't initiate the call, it's probably a scam."

Kiehl says the BBB hasn't hear of any local victims yet related to this scam, but they still wanted to get the word out. And when it comes to the military, families can turn to their soldiers branch for help.

"I highly recommend they consult their military chain of command or suppport groups set up," says Fisk.

"I think it's just everybody's responsibility to keep that in perspective and be aware of it and when you are in a vulnerable situation jut make sure you're not taken advantage of," says Ellis.

Kiehl mentioned there are typically more scams going on in the summer months. She attributes that to more people passing through the area, and tele-marketers getting a hold of kids at home.