Mystery callers falsely tell military families their loved ones died in Iraq
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Callers posing as American Red Cross workers have falsely told military spouses around the country that their loved ones were killed in the war with Iraq, the Red Cross said.
No arrests have been made.
Military officials don’t know how many such calls there have been, but the Marine Corps warned Wednesday that they should be reported to authorities.
The military contacts families directly when troops are killed in action.
The calls have been reported over the past week by families in California, Delaware, Michigan and Alabama, the Red Cross said.
The male callers tell family members that loved ones are dead, prisoners of war or missing in action, but no solicitation is made, Red Cross spokesman Darren Irby said.
The false stories have upset some families. One woman contacted a crisis center at Camp Pendleton, base spokesman Capt. Joshua Smith said, and “it took some time to calm her down.”
Suspects could be charged with criminal mischief or sued in civil court for allegedly intentially causing emotional distress.
On the Net: