Thursday, December 17, 2009

Phone scam targets military

By James Buechele

FAIRFIELD, IA -- Law enforcement in Jefferson County is warning people of an army scam.

A local resident was called recently by a person trying to solicit money for military families. The money would pay for air fare in bringing Iowa Army National Guard member’s home for the holidays.

The local National Guard Armory says there is no such campaign underway and the call is probably a scam. Officials say scams like this are taking advantage of the military.

“This time of year is particularly bad because we're preying on people's emotions,” said chief deputy Gregg Morton. “Family members and friends will give money to organizations if they're legitimate to help bring those folks back for the holiday season.”

Morton is a former Marine himself. The thought of someone taking advantage of the military like this hits close to home.

“To be honest with you it angers me. The servicemen aren’t asking for this. Especially the family members aren’t asking for this scam. So whoever’s taking advantage of people through this scam, I wish they get caught. I wish they get prosecuted.”

Morton added that if you are in doubt whether an organization or fund is real through the phone, there are ways to help yourself. Ask them their names or the organization they belong to.

If you have any questions call the Jefferson County Law Center at 641-472-4146.

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