Military Scams | Common Tricks & How to Avoid Them
The growth of online dating has led to an explosion of catfishing and the combination of lust, infatuation or love means that innocent people can get manipulated or exploited. These relationships can go on for years and often end in tragic emotional or financial consequences for the victims. Catfishers can be driven by anything from loneliness to obsession or revenge.
A U.S. Army Reserve military policeman handcuffs a mock detainee during a Two Army reservists have been accused of coordinating a fraud they were in a romantic relationship using fake identities and dating websites.
Estimated reading time is 6 minutes. Do you have suspicions that a friend or family member is involved in a romance scam? Do you ever wonder why people fall for romance scams? While this figure may seem high, this is just what gets reported; many victims never make a report due to fear or embarrassment. She found she could join groups and play games via the social media channel. This interaction was the start of what Grace thought was an exciting new romance. Over the next 18 months, the person claiming to be Malcom James drew Grace into what she thought was a loving relationship.
It was in fact a scam leading to a series of escalating requests for money.
How I catfished my catfisher: a W5 investigation into romance scams
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.
Now, the former U.S. soldier is fighting back against his ‘evil’ online clones. fake dating profiles amid a global surge in military romance fraud.
Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. Retired U. Army Col. The year-old husband and father spent half his life in the military. They use his photos to pose as soldiers on Facebook and dating sites, where they trick women into surrendering thousands of dollars in cash and gift cards in the name of love. Set boundaries and recognize red flags.
He reports every fake account he sees on Facebook, but new ones emerge faster than he can wipe them out. Denny is one of several soldiers whose photos have been used to create fake dating profiles amid a global surge in military romance fraud. He gets tired of chasing down fake profiles.
Online Dating Scammers Pose as U.S. Military Personnel
I frequently get requests from friends and readers to help them save a loved one from a romance scam. Lots of money. The closer the date appears to be getting to the victim, the more unexpected calamities appear. The scammers seem to delight in torturing their victims and seeing just how outrageous they can make the stories be and still get paid.
Many victims lose substantial sums of money, often their entire lifesavings. Some wealthy victims have lost millions of dollars.
Ms Smith said: ‘He conducted an online dating fraud exploiting lonely and vulnerable women by pretending he was an American soldier in.
Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim’s heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal. What’s especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U.
The scammers are exploiting people’s good intentions toward our men and women in uniform, and exploit their goodwill. Not only does this kind of fraud hurt the victim, but it damages the reputation of the United States Military member. Foreign victims often fall for the scam, and really do think a U.
Women warned of scam soldier dating sites
Weeks later, the U. Department of Justice DOJ filed charges against 80 members of an organized international criminal network composed primarily of Nigerians dedicated to romance fraud and several other cyber schemes. Even more recently, in early September, the DOJ announced the arrest of a New Jersey man for his involvement in a separate international criminal network that defrauded more than 30 victims in romance fraud schemes using fake online profiles of U.
The suspect allegedly carried out the scheme with help from co-conspirators in Ghana.
A recent study indicates that 15 percent of American adults use online dating websites or mobile applications. As the number of people looking to meet new people.
Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military. Victims of these online military scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member. Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery.
The U. Unfortunately, the people committing these scams are often overseas — using untraceable email addresses, routing accounts through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes. See examples of fake documents used by scammers. There are a variety of words and phrases used by scammers to hook unsuspecting men and women into relationships. Here are some examples:. Scammers tend to use similar stories to convince men and women that they have a legitimate need.
Here are common answers to those questions:.
What You Need to Know About Romance Scams
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Online dating scam is ‘one of the largest of its kind’.
CID Warns of Social Networking, Dating Site Scams (PDF / 2 pages) The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, continues to warn the greater Army.
District Court in Providence, R. It is alleged in Court documents that beginning in May , victims were contacted by scammers via online dating sites such as Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, and Our Time, and through social media platforms such as Words with Friends, often times feigning romantic intentions. The perpetrators of the scams gained the trust of their victims through any number of fraudulent representations, eventually convincing them to send money to bank accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy.
To date, 28 individuals in more than a dozen states have been identified as falling victim to the scams allegedly employed by the five individuals named in the charged conspiracy. United States Attorney Aaron L. Scammers will confuse, lie to, and steal from their victims with total disregard for the financial and emotional ruins they leave behind. The Department of Justice and federal, state, and local law enforcement have made it a priority to root out such scammers and hold them accountable.
Cronin of the U.