Military romance scams: Beware of scammers posing as military personnel
Do you like meeting new people through social media websites or a dating site? Online dating is a big trend of our time.
While these platforms are perfect to build such relationships, it can also be a dangerous place if you are not careful.
Imposters are commonplace across the Internet, waiting to trap you through their honeyed words.
An online stranger may feel like your best friend, but you should be careful when having a conversation about personal life or regarding personal information.
Identity theft is a substantial danger online. In many cases, scammers pose as military officers to gain your trust when engaging in talks through sites, such as Facebook and Instagram. We are then talking about Military Romance Scams.
How do military imposters work?
A scammer tries to gain your trust early on during your friendship. He/she will often pose as members of the armed forces to win your hearts.
All branches of the armed forces of the United States are present in the fraud:
- Air Force
For this the fraudsters use pictures of real soldiers, gladly wearing uniform or combat suit. They pose with these pictures on all possible platforms during online dating.
An emergency situation for a soldier stationed in a foreign country is an easy tale to tell. That is why so many scammers impersonate military personal.
sIn many cases, you claim they are in military service or peacekeeping in countries such as:
The soldier builds trust
When you begin trusting the person, they start to ask about your personal life and other information. Unbeknownst to you, they secretly collect this information for use later.
Alternatively, they may gain your trust and initiate a romantic relationship with you. They shower you with kind words and make you feel cared or loved.
After you are head over heels in love with the false personality, they make an excuse and ask you for financial assistance. Since you care about them, you may part with the money without a second thought.
As soon as they receive the funds, they will break all contact with you. In most cases, their social media handles are deactivated or deleted.
This technique is known as catfishing. Thousands of victims over the world fall prey to catfishing every year.
Military imposter: Common excuses for scamming money
When asking for money, online con artists generally have a heart-wrenching tale ready for you. They create these stories to impact you emotionally so that you cannot refuse to pay the money they request.
Listed below are some of the common excuses that military imposters provide before asking you for money.
- They suffer from an emergency medical condition for which they lack the necessary money.
- He wants to go on leave but needs money to apply for leave.
- They need the money to plan a future together with you.
- The soldier needs money for transportation costs, communication fees etc.
- To retire, you have to pay thousands of dollars to the military.
- They need the money to settle a debt.
- He wants to send a box with money, uniform and documents.
- They need money for medical needs or service related needs.
- They have an emergency expense, but all their funds are stuck in an offshore account.
Do not empathise with any of these reasons. If an online friend needs money, seek advice on what to do from family members.
You can also hire our discreet investigative services to look into the person. We can help determine whether the individual’s claims are authentic or fake.
Common indicators of online scammers
Some features and characteristics are common amongst most online imposters. Military imposters are no different in this regard.
Keep an eye out for the following signs to understand whether an online entity is real or fake. There are some red flags.
Scammers create attractive profiles
Most scammers possess a deep understanding of what attracts people, both men and women. To initiate a romantic relationship, military imposters create fake accounts with profile pictures belonging to real existing soldiers, veterans or United States military members.
No matter which personality scammers use, most of them pretend to be wealthy. Otherwise no victim would believe them, that they can pay back the money. The payback of course never happens.
Apart from the exceptionally attractive pictures, they create an illusion of wealth through their profiles and the stolen pictures as U.S. Army Officers. The same is true for profiles on online dating apps such as Tinder For more information, read the article Tinder Fake U.S. Army.
A military scammer is inquisitive
Online scammers flood you with questions. Right from asking you about your day to enquiring about personal events, scammers often come off as curious.
The main reason for doing this is to impress you into thinking that he/she deeply cares about you. The questions are also a ploy to gain as much personal information about you as possible. That’s part of the scam.
Sharing information, such as your date of birth, mother’s maiden name and pet’s name may seem harmless to you but can have a huge impact on your security. For instance, your pet’s name can be the backup security question to access your social media accounts.
The alleged soldiers insist on speaking or messaging you for hours on end. They can be patient and seek the information they need for months. And they call you very soon spouse.
Aggressively pursuing a romantic relationship
A romance scammer is determined to pursue a romantic relationship with his target since doing so can give him access to greater information. Remember, con artists will shower praises and compliments on you every time you have a conversation.
A good indication of a scam is when an online friendship progresses too quickly into a romantic relationship. You always have the opportunity to put a stop to such a relationship if you suspect something fishy.
Making excuses to avoid a face-to-face meet
Military impostors will try to avoid meeting you at any cost. They also make lame excuses to avoid engaging in video calls.
This is because most such fake American soldiers have fake profile pictures on their social media handles, having stolen these photos from the Internet. Therefore, for them, meeting you personally is not an option.
The supposed service members ask for money to be sent to accounts or cash all over the world. Many of the imposters are located in countries like
- Ivory Coast
How can you protect yourself from military romance scam?
Now that you know about fake soldiers and fake serice members, you need to adopt adequate protective measures against them. The following tips can safeguard you from their approach.
- Do not befriend people you do not know personally on the Internet.
- Try to avoid sharing personal information or data with your online friends.
- Beware of those ones who profess their love for you after only a few days.
- Beware of people who avoid meeting you or coming on video calls.
- Ask the person to provide more pictures of themselves, apart from the ones on their social media profiles.
- Ask as many questions to the individual as possible. Scammers can slip-up and give conflicting information about their lives, proving that they are lying.
- Do not send money to someone you met online but you have never met in person and who claims to be a service member of the U.S. Army.
We’ll check the soldier so you don’t become a victim
Our expert private detectives can conduct a discreet investigation, uncovering background information regarding your online friend. We can detect if someone is scamming you or is telling the truth.
Is the man real? Is he really in the Army? We are international experts in uncovering romance scams.
Our services are affordable, giving you the upper hand in the dialogue with potential fraudsters. We can guarantee safety to you against catfishing. In this way, you avoid becoming a victim of fraud by military romance scammers.
If you met military personnel while dating online, please be careful. If in doubt, let us advise you on how to find out the truth. In this way you can protect yourself against a scam.
Get peace of mind: Contact us today