This scam involves the impersonation of Gen. Ray Odierno, the senior commander of US troops in Iraq. The rogue messages is : “If you pay $200,000, your son can get sent home early.”
This is obviously an attempt of would be thieves to steal money from emotionally vulnerable family members of US servicemen serving in Iraq.
This is a variant of a scam knows as 419 or advance-fee scams. These scams target a specific group of people, usually those who are emotionally or physically vulnerable. The scams often look authentic because they feature a picture, seal or other clever ways to impersonate a government agency or high profile individual.
The best way to avoid these types of scams is to contact the agency or organization directly to inquire about the legitimacy of the message you received. Contact they by telephone or visit their website before committing to or executing any financial transaction. Never respond or send money through a third party organization that you are unfamiliar with.