The 39th BCT (Arkansas) Memorial
Bob Herbert Columns - No Investigating Required

Military Spouses Scammed By Phony Casualty Assistance Officers

Recieved this from Marine Captain James who wants to get the word out about this scam that some "model citizens" are running (original alert is from April 27th):


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.

The victim was a 4th Marine Division spouse.  Hopefully, Sergeants Moose and Rocco will find the scammers...