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Red Cross Officials Warn of Ridiculous New Scam

(Air National Guard/Joseph McKee)
(Air National Guard/Joseph McKee)

Red Cross officials are warning military families and members of a new scam, this time targeting people in Maine.

It goes like this: someone calls pretending to be with the Red Cross and tells a family member that they must pay the Red Cross $750 have luggage shipped home from a deployment.

File that under: nope.

The Red Cross, of course, doesn't ship luggage and doesn't charge anyone for help with anything, ever. And even if they did ship luggage, which -- again -- they don't, it would be the military doing the organization.

The rule of thumb for all scams also applies to the Red Cross. Smells scammy? It's a scam.

Every now and then a new scam involving some sort of silly Red Cross claim pops up, officials with the Red Cross told me, and this Maine-centric thing is just the latest example.

"The American Red Cross is saddened to know that there are predatory individuals calling military families to scam them for money. The Red Cross does not contact families asking for money on behalf their deployed military loved ones," Peter Macias, a Red Cross spokesman told me in an email. "Scams such as this rise to the surface from time to time and, in our experience, are not specific to any one state. We encourage anyone receiving one of these phone calls to contact their local law enforcement agency and report it as quickly as possible."

The Red Cross does do many fabulous things for military members and families. Scamming them is, fortunately, not one of them.

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