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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2012

Internet scam targets Illinois National Guard spouses

By Courtesy report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois National Guard has become the target of a recent e-mail scam intended to reach spouses of deployed Guard members and defraud them out of more than $1,000, Illinois Guard officials said Wednesday.

"These criminals are attempting to play upon the desire of our military spouses to see their service members home on leave," said Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti of Springfield, Illinois National Guard acting adjutant general.

"It is our priority to protect our families and deployed heroes from these despicable criminals and the financial and emotional harm they would cause," he said.

The fraudulent e-mail has been sent directly to military spouses from someone claiming to be Celletti. It refers to a deployed Guard member by name and references a cost of luggage required from the beneficiary before the Guard member can travel for approved temporary leave.

"This is certainly a scam, like ones we have seen in the past," said Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Chepulis with the Illinois National Guard's Provost Marshall's Office.

"The expertise and authority to investigate matters like this are referred to our civilian law enforcement partners who have been made aware of this situation," he said.

If anyone feels they have been affected by this scam, please report the issue to the FBI Cyber Crime website at www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud/.