My Newz 'n Ideas

It is my intent to express my opinion and to discuss current events. Feel free to make suggestions to fields you would like to see covered, and I will consider them. Please leave your name with comments. Thank you. Arabic: عربي.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Scam Alert for Military Spouses

Blackfive is issuing this alert which he received from Marine Cpt. James. He wants all of us to get the word out. Please help our brave men and women by putting this on your blog, telling Military people you know, posting it in groups you belong to, and other ways that come to mind. It is the least we can do.

Family Readiness Officers: Please ensure the widest possible dissemination of this information to unit Commander's, I&I/Site Support Staff, Family Readiness Officers, Key Volunteers, Marines/Sailors, family members and local law enforcement officials.

Two men posing as a Marine and a Sailor tried to gain personal checking account information from the spouse of an activated Marine Reservist. The attempted scam occurred as follows:

The spouse was called by a man claiming that he was a Marine Master Sergeant. He informed her that her husband was missing in action and that someone would visit her home to provide further information. Two men, one dressed in Marine dress blues and the other in a Navy uniform, visited the spouse at her home. Neither of the men would properly identify themselves. They informed her that her husband was missing in action and that they would need her checking account number in case he was determined to have been killed in action. The alleged perpetrators had somehow obtained personal information on the Marine to include his name, rank, address, telephone number and social security number.

This is a great example of why it is so important for everyone to adhere to the Privacy Act of 1974. Do not provide personal information of service members to anyone without their consent. Also, personal information should never be placed in publicly accessible media and documents, i.e., newsletters, emails, websites.

Please stress to all family members that during a legitimate casualty visit, family members would never be asked to provide personal financial information. If service members or family members have any questions concerning the process or legitimacy of a casualty visit, they can contact the Marine Forces Reserve Casualty Officer, Capt Jason Burkett, at [Blackfive edit: I have the numbers - if needed, email me]. If anyone thinks that they are the victim of an attempted scam, please contact the unit Family Readiness Officer or Reserve Training Center site support staff and local law enforcement officials.
Here in California, we passed a Proposition stating that if you murder a peace (police) officer, a fireman, or anyone in the line of work to help the public-you would be charged with special circumstances that would allow you to be eligible for the death penalty.

I believe it is about time we all got together and put a stop to this. For good. Any one caught trying to scam, steal care packages, lie about a soldier's status (ie. he's dead), and the such should be charged with an extra penalty. I am trying to think of what penalty, because the one I am thinking of will never pass. They won't give the death penalty for these crimes. Will they?