Canada's military is investigating fake calls to military families from a man who informs them that their loved ones have been killed in Afghanistan.

Lt. Dennis Noel of Canadian Forces Base Valcartier said Wednesday a prankster phoned several families, including one soldier's wife to say her husband had been killed by a bomb on the battlefield.

Defense Minister Peter MacKay says the calls are "deplorable and despicable."

Noel says one woman answered the call from a man in the middle of the night last week, saying her husband was killed in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device.

The wives of two other soldiers received similar phone calls.