Oklahoma military officials warn of fake death notification hoax

A Navy spouse was recently approached by two people claiming to be Army Casualty Notification Officers, wearing camouflage uniforms. The spouse was told her husband had been killed and she was then asked to sign paperwork.
BY MATT PATTERSON mpatterson@opubco.com Published: September 23, 2011
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Military officials are warning families of service members about a hoax involving fake death notifications to family members in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Oklahoma Army National Guard Lt. Col. Max Moss said the family of a Navy serviceman was approached this week by two people claiming to be Army Casualty Notification Officers, wearing camouflage uniforms.

The spouse was told her husband had been killed and she was then asked to sign paperwork. The woman refused and called Tinker Air Force Base for assistance.

It isn't known if other family members have been approached.

Moss said death notifications are always made by a member of the same service branch as the service member.

Further, officers will always be in a dress uniform.

Notification officers also present paperwork with information about the service member including full name, date of birth, Social Security and the names of family members who should be notified of a death.

“Even though this did not involve an Army National Guard family, we are taking steps to notify families and spouses of our soldiers to remind them of the appropriate protocol should a casualty notification be made,” Moss said.

Tinker officials are also working to notify family members in their area about the possible hoax.

“The welfare of our people is a top priority. Financial stewardship, including the need to stay fully aware of hoaxes of this kind, is part of our overall information and communications plan to keep our members and their families safe,” said Col. Robert LaBrutta, commander of the 72 Air Base Wing.


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