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Fake names of soldiers in Syria and Yemen

Scammers from African countries pretend to be U.S. soldiers stationed in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. They make up fake names and decorate their profiles on social media or dating sites with stolen photos.

They then get to know women online from all over the world and sneak into their hearts to later pull their money out of their pockets. This goes on until all the victims’ savings are used up.

In this article you will learn more about the American soldier scam and you will find a ranking of the most “popular” fake names as service members in Syria or troops overseas that the scammers have come up with. By the way, sometimes scammers pose as women serving overseas.

Names scammers come up with when posing as military personnel

Romance scammers create fake profiles in social media like Facebook or Instagram or go to an internet dating site to meet women who are looking for the man for life and want to start with an online relationship.

Since the scammers are mostly from Africa, they lack knowledge of the rules of how American names are constructed. In particular, they have difficulty distinguishing between a first name and a last name. The difference means nothing to them.

To compensate for this lack of knowledge, many scammers use fake names composed of two or even three common first names. Thus, it is not surprising that the most common name that scammers give themselves as alleged U.S. soldiers consists of two first names: Mark David

When the victim asks him what his last name is and what his first name is, the answer often comes that David is the first name, although from the spelling Mark David it should rather be the other way around.

How little the scammers can do with the naming is shown by the example Frank T. Miller, which we had in one case. The scammer claimed that his first name was Miller and Frank T was his last name. This is what was actually written in the fake passport he sent to the victim.

Stolen picture used by a scammer.

Scammers often pretend to be soldiers stationed in a foreign country.

The top 15 list of fake names as American soldiers in Syria or Yemen

  1. Mark David
  2. John Frank
  3. Michael Frank
  4. Mark Michael
  5. Steven Thomas
  6. Bill Walter
  7. Steven Mark
  8. Lucas Danile
  9. Stephen James
  10. Thomas Muller
  11. Jacob Michael
  12. Noah David
  13. Marc Lucas
  14. Benjamin Oliver
  15. Mark Philipp Thomas

How does love scamming as a pretend service member work?

The scammers select their victims specifically. They prefer middle-aged and advanced women. From time to time, men also become the victims of love scammers, when the perpetrators pretend to be female soldiers of the US Army. The majority of the victims are female.

The scammers’ scheme is always the same. They claim to be American service members of the armed forces in Syria or Yemen. As is well known, there is a civil war in Yemen and the U.S. soldiers would be assigned to Yemen to support the government or the interests of Saudi Arabia.

The scammers are very clever psychologically. They are in constant contact with the victim and tell one sob story after another.

Often this story is about the hard everyday life in the war, about military life in the US Army and how bad life is in Yemen. This is supposed to make the victim develop emotional ties to the love scammer and trust them.

The story is usually supported by the photo of the U.S. soldier in uniform. The photos are real, as well as the U.S. soldiers that can be seen on them.

However, the soldiers pictured are either long gone from US Army service or are stationed somewhere else, if not deceased. The criminals use the pictures illegally without the knowledge of the persons depicted on them. It is nothing more than identity theft.

Sometimes the photos also come from advertising, Press TV or were copied somewhere on the Internet to deceive the women.

Scammer frequently ask for personal information to set up new scams.

Sometimes scammers ask for your bank details. Be aware ervery information that you reveal will be used against you or someone else.

How does love scamming continue?

The scammer establishes a close online relationship with the victim, as far as this is possible via the Internet and e-mail. The alleged U.S. soldiers sometimes contact the victim several times a day from Yemen and report on the war and the dangers of the country.

As a result, the women slowly but surely develop feelings. This is exactly what the scammers intend. Allegedly, they want to meet the victim in person and come to the woman’s home soon for this purpose.

If the response to this e-mail is positive, the scammer takes the next step. The “army soldier” invents many pretexts to get the women or men to send him money.

As with any scam, the fraudster in love scamming is only interested in money. Personal contact is never planned.

How does the alleged U.S. soldier get his victim to send money?

In the meantime, the woman has developed strong feelings towards her U.S. soldier in Yemen and believes his stories unconditionally. All caution is forgotten and the disaster takes its course.

The U.S. soldier writes that an internet based relationship is not enough for him. He wants to meet the woman in person.

To do this, he needs a vacation from the war and his deployment. He wants to come to his love.

He backs up his request with photos and documents that the scammer sends to the woman by e-mail. Under a pretext, he asks his wife, as he now calls her, for money.

Successful are reasons of this kind

  • He wants to send her a box with his documents, uniform and money or gold. Unfortunately, this box ends up at customs and the woman has to pay customs fees and fines.
  • He needs money for a plane ticket to get to her. Since the service member is far from home in a foreign country, he cannot withdraw money from his account at the moment. As long as he is deployed abroad, the account is frozen.
  • He does not get enough to eat on the ground in the war zone and asks for money for food.
  • In order for him to get leave, a replacement soldier must take his place. But this costs fees that have to be paid with the request leave.
  • You need money for medical treatment of family members. The victim should pay the medical fess in advance.
  • He needs money for communication fees. Otherwise, he could not continue writing with the woman.

For these and similar reasons, he asks his love from the Internet to send him the money. Unfortunately, it happens again and again that people fall for this scam, forget all caution and send money to an unknown person with whom there is only e-mail contact.

In the end, the scammer does not come to the victim. That was never his intention. Rather, he is happy about the easily earned money.

Scammers operate worldwide.

Scammers operate worldwide. Everyone who might have money is a possible target.

The scam works with other countries as well

Scammers do not always claim to be in Yemen. The same story works with other countries where there are crises or war.

In the past, scammers almost always claimed you were stationed in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban or Al Qaeda. After the U.S. President gave the order to withdraw from Afghanistan and the withdrawal of soldiers was completed, new stories were needed.

Even today, some scammers claim they are in Afghanistan as military personnel and are active in a secret operation there.

Most popular countries for scamming as military personnel

Some romance scammers claim that they are

  • soldiers in Sudan
  • soldiers in Ukraine
  • soldiers in Iraq
  • soldiers in Iran
  • soldiers in Nigeria
  • soldiers in Syria
  • and many other countries more

But in the ranking of the fraudsters, Yemen is way ahead. They tell us the troops are flown in through Aden International Airport and then stationed in Lahij Province at al-Anad Air Base. From there, there are combat missions or peacekeeping missions in which the group must participate in which he is active.

What indicates military romance scams?

There are many indications and warning signs of military romance scams, for example:

  • There are no American soldiers in Yemen chatting with lonely women.
  • Service members do not ask any contact from the Internet for money.
  • Real soldiers would never ask to be sent the codes of Amazon gift cards or Steam cards.
  • The English of the alleged military service members is flawed and there are numerous language errors
  • The stories of the military members do not sound plausible.
  • The profile has hardly any activity and disappears quickly after the initial contact.
  • The money is supposed to be sent via Western Union or MoneyGram or transferred to a bank account in an African country.
  • A military member asks for payment via Bitcoins.
  • Servicemen do not have to pay medical fees, either for themselves or for their immediate family members as they have good medical insurance.
  • A general officer would never write to a civilian about a leave request from a service member.

How can you protect yourself from romance scams?

Be careful and never send money to people you know only from the Internet from online dating websites. There is only very low possibility to get the money back.

If you suspect that they are being scammed, contact us. We expose military scams around the world for a small fee.

Collect as much data and details from the chat as possible. Especially important are photos and personal data of the man.

Our investigators can clearly determine whether the person is real or not.

How dangerous is the scam?

The scam involving U.S. soldiers supposedly stationed in Yemen or Afghanistan has already claimed many victims. The exact number of victims and the extent of the damage are unknown.

Many victims are ashamed to admit that they fell for the story about U.S. soldiers being deployed abroad. They are afraid to go to the police, the Internet Crime Complaint Centre or law enforcement officials and report the criminals.

In individual cases, the material damage can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some victims ruin themselves through the scam.

The psychological damage is even greater. Men and women are ashamed to have believed the story of the alleged service member. Their trust was abused and their relationship with other people disturbed, not to mention the broken heart.

Some cannot get over the deception and become depressed. Some are even said to have committed suicide.

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