MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Every quarter, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service here focuses on a different crime to target in its annual crime reduction program. This quarter, NCIS has its sights set on fraud prevention.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines fraud as the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right or as an act of deceiving or misrepresenting.
Eric MacLennan, an NCIS special agent aboard the Combat Center, said the program focuses on education to help prevent fraud from occurring.
“The more educated the public is, the more ability they will have to recognize and stop people committing these crimes,” he said.
MacLennan said he plans on hosting several command briefs around the installation to help educate unit leaders so they can pass the knowledge to their junior Marines.
He said there are ways to defend against becoming a victim of fraud.
People need to safeguard their social security number and any personally identifiable information, said the Virginia Beach, Va., native.
“In the Marine Corps, sometimes it’s hard to keep from giving out your social security number,” MacLennan said. “Out in town though, be extremely leery of anyone asking for credit card information or any information that can identify you.”
It was a former lack of education and knowledge which Lance Cpl. Tracy Stanley, an ammunition technician with the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group here, credits as the cause of internet fraud. She said if she had not acted quickly, fraud could have cost her a large sum of money.
“I just started college a couple of months ago and I needed books for my classes, so I went online to find them,” said the McAllen, Texas native. “I ordered my book from the internet and noticed a couple of weeks later more money was being taken out of my bank account for magazines I never purchased.
“It all got taken care of, but I know now not to trust certain Web sites,” she said.
To report suspected fraud, call NCIS at 830-6275, or the Criminal Investigation Department at 830-6820.
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