How Soldiers’ Angels Works (and how to spot a fake)
September 12, 2014
Unfortunately not everyone in this world is as honest and caring as our team of Soldiers’ Angels. There are people who impersonate charities, people who try and lure soldiers into giving them personal information, and people called “tag chasers”. While this is sad and also scary, there are ways of spotting imposters and protecting yourself (if you’re a soldier) and your family (if you suspect someone corresponding with a soldier is a fraud).
How Soldiers’ Angels Works
Soldiers’ Angels operates 12 teams where Angels can provide support directly by mail to deployed service members, wounded veterans, caregivers of wounded, ill and injured, families of the fallen, and military families with a deployed service member.
Soldiers’ Angels verifies that each person who signs up to join a team, which includes being able to adopt a soldier, adopt a caregiver, or write a letter to a soldier, is using their actual identity. We do this through our website by having each volunteer donate a minimum of $1 to Soldiers’ Angels monthly. This monthly donation, done through credit card or bank transaction, ensures that the person is who they say they are and not using an alias. Aliases may not be used for the safety and security of our service members and their families. This monthly contribution is away for us to maintain an accurate record (checked monthly) of all of our volunteers so that if there is a problem, we know who is doing what.
Once a new volunteer has signed up, they then receive a user name and password emailed to them from the Angel database. Once they have their user name and password, they can then log in to the volunteer portal and choose which of the 12 teams they wish to join. They also receive a mentor who will work with them on getting acquainted with the Soldiers’ Angels program. This volunteer portal is just another way to coordinate and keep track of all of our volunteers. Soldiers’ Angels does not just issue names and addresses to people to start mailing care packages and/or letters – you are a part of a team and have a leader to report to. All volunteers are required to log onto the portal monthly and report their activity.
Once you are a team member, you will be assigned your soldiers but you may not request any. This is just another level of security to protect our soldiers.
If you suspect for any reason that your significant other, family member or you yourself are receiving correspondence from an imposter please contact Susie Turner, our Director of Volunteer Services and she will be happy to look into the matter for you: [email protected].
With that said, here are some red flags to look for.
The person contacts you via Facebook. We do not provide Angels with the Facebook information for their adopted soldier, adopted caregiver, etc. When an Angel adopts a soldier, a caregiver or the family of a fallen soldier, they are provided the name, address, phone number (if in the states) and an email address so they can be in contact with their adoptee. The person or family being adopted will also receive notification via email that they have been matched to an Angel and who their designated Angel is.
The person sends letters to your actual home. If the person being adopted is a deployed service member, the Angel will not have access to their home information. They will not receive information pertaining to their spouse, children, parents, etc.
They ask you for personal information. We coach our letter writers to be positive, share what they want about their lives and not pry for details or personal information. It should be up to the soldier or family how much he or she wants to share with their angel. If you have an angel who seems to be trying to pry information from you please contact us immediately.
They contact your family or spouse looking for your information. Anyone on the Soldiers’ Angels team that has been assigned a soldier or family already has the information they need to start sending care packages and correspondence. For deployed adoptions specifically the Angel should not know your family’s names and should not have any reason whatsoever to contact you. For family adoptions, if you have an adopted Angel, that information would have been provided to you in advance by Soldiers’ Angels so you are prepared to be in touch with them.
Everything we do at Soldiers’ Angels is to serve our mission of making sure no soldier goes unloved. We have established policies and rules that are there to ensure that each soldier we service is protected. If you have any questions about the process, please email [email protected].