Posted: Aug 27, 2011 7:50 PM by Shawn Kline
It was 3:00 AM when Diane Adams received a heart-breaking phone call.
"I was devastated because he was my only nephew."
Adams says a man with the Red Cross was calling her family about her nephew, Evan Morter. Morter is currently serving with the Air Force, stationed in Afghanistan.
The caller said Morter had been hit. He was still alive, but on life support.
"(They said) they're flying him to Germany and they're wanting to take him off life support," Adams recalled.
The caller began asking for personal information and that's when family members became suspicious.
The catch? None of that ever happened.
"It was about four or five hours later that my brother called and said it was all a hoax," Adams said.
"This scam has actually started several years ago." Tony Credeur said. "It's a real cruel scam when you call someone and tell them a member of their family has been injured or killed in an act of war."
Credeur is with the American Red Cross. He says the story was an attempt to scam Adams and her family. Credeur says these scammers had targeted troops in Iraq but now believes the scam has moved to Afghanistan.
"The Red Cross would not ask for information as far as ID, credit card information and all of that," Credeur said.
If there is a medical emergency overseas, you'll hear from the Department of Defense and not the Red Cross. Credeur says you won't get a phone call either. The military would show up to your home in person.
If you do get a call like this, never give out a social security number and contact local police immediately. The American Red Cross suggests not even confirming you have a deployed family member.
These calls are considered a federal offense under the Stop Terrorist and Military Hoaxes act of 2004.