Online Dating Scammers Pose as U.S. Military Personnel

Online Dating Scammers Pose as U.S. Military Personnel

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation. Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile.

Tell-tale signs your online date may be an online fraud

Your military friend or family member serves our country with integrity and honor. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who try to take advantage of that service to cheat them and you. You can help protect your service member against military scams by learning the warning signs of schemes that target those in the military community.

Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.

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How to spot online romance scams

Military personnel and their families are attractive targets for scam artists and identity thieves. These criminals target service members for their steady paychecks and take advantage of their non-standard work schedules, length absences from home, frequent relocations, and duty assignments to remote locations. They also prey on veterans and their families, taking advantage of their patriotism as well as their hard-earned government benefits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receives thousands of complaints each year from military consumers that deal with debt collection issues.

The most common type of debt collection scam involves continued attempts to collect a debt not owed.

Online Dating Apps and Websites. Army / Military Scam. Overseas and Out of Country. Money Forwarding and Check Cashing. Payment for Goods or Services.

Army Criminal Investigation Command CID receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U. Soldier online. Soldier who then began asking for money for various false service-related needs. Victims of these scams can lose tens of thousands of dollars and face a slim likelihood of recovering any of it. Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media platform, but they are not U.

To perpetrate this scam, the scammers take on the online persona of a current or former U.

Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance

Always approach any new online acquaintance with caution. Online dating is not only limited to dating sites. With social media having become more integral to our daily lives, many people find love on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and several other platforms. They shower people with loving words and, over time, win their trust.

Scammers will continue this so-called relationship for months or even years before asking a person for money. Below are a few more general tips from Sky Women, a scam awareness and support group, on how to be more secure online:.

The following online scams (i.e. from trading or social networking websites) were reported Earlier this year I joined an internet dating site in the hope, that I might meet He said that his soldier friends were killed in the war and he is the only.

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years.

Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them. This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money.

How I catfished my catfisher: a W5 investigation into romance scams

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. Retired U. Army Col.

To avoid online dating scams, be on the lookout for these four red flags when you​’re getting to know someone online: 1. Romance scammers.

The United Nations strongly recommends that the recipients of solicitations, such as those described above exercise extreme caution in respect of such solicitations. Financial loss and identity theft could result from the transfer of money or personal information to those issuing such fraudulent correspondence. Victims of such scams may also report them to their local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.

Welcome to the United Nations. Toggle navigation Language:. Home Fraud Alert Fraud Alert. Beware of scams implying association with the United Nations. See more on employment-related fraud.

Lost in Love: Avoiding Romance Scams

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. Hundreds of times a day, women here and overseas complain about being scammed by con artists posing as U. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

If you’ve only ever met online, you need to take extra precautions to protect yourself. Don’t let scammers take advantage of your better nature and steal your.

This article looks at how to spot the signs of an internet dating scam, how to protect yourself from internet dating scams and most importantly, how to avoid internet dating scams. Insight have taken on many such cases and, on occasions, have been able to reunite the client with some or all of their money. Once this happens they will fade away never to be heard from again.

Irrespective of where they are based the fraudsters have accomplices around the world to facilitate the collection of monies. The is taken from the Nigerian Penal Code number that relates to such Fraud. There are several checks that can be made and things that can be done to ensure that the person whom you have become attached to on-line is genuine. The fraudsters will trawl the Internet for an address and can obtain sufficient information about it to make you believe its genuine.

The excuses are wide and varied and will be tailored to what would effectively push YOUR buttons. This is the fraudsters mainline of income where the cash can be collected anywhere in the world once a the required reference numbers are given. This is where the fraudsters accomplice comes in. Occasionally, money is requested to be paid direct into a legitimate Bank Account, which is then immediately withdrawn.

What You Need to Know About Romance Scams

Embassy Kabul frequently receives inquiries from people who have been victimized by Internet scammers. These scams are attempts by con artists to convince you to send them money by developing a friendship, romance or business partnership online, and then exploiting that relationship to ask for money. The most common scam we see involves calls, texts, or social media messages Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Kik, dating apps, etc from a person claiming be a U.

Armed Forces, a military contractor, a U. Embassy diplomat, or an employee of an international aid organization. These con artists are very convincing and troll the Internet for potential victims, spending weeks or months to build a relationship.

The suspect posted photos online bragging about his wealth and posing with wads of cash.

Online dating works. There are millions of singles online in the UK, seeking what we all look for: love, companionship and a long-term future. I met my gorgeous husband through online dating, and during the ten years I worked for Match. Figures published by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show a scary upward swing:. It was thought that women were the main targets for online-dating scammers.

But men are increasingly duped. The losses can be huge—financially, and emotionally. In some ways, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from that. Most online-dating scammers live and operate abroad, so they are hard to prosecute. Plus, many victims are embarrassed to seek help from friends or the authorities until things have spiralled completely out of control. To protect your heart, your pride and your bank balance, here are my definitive tips for spotting an online-dating scammer.

Online-dating scammers are the least picky people on the planet. Women usually search for partners around 2 years younger, to 12 years older. Also, try to date people who live close to you.

Romance scam

Jane Watts became suspicious when the Army officer she friended on Facebook started asking for things. The Charlottesville resident, who had recently separated from her husband, accepted a friend request from a soldier named Jeff Galbraith. He seemed nice online, and it offered the chance to meet someone new.

Gender and age demographics of victims of online romance scams in A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, Scammers prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their victims. Military public.

Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Investigators said Sarpong and his conspirators set up online dating profiles using fake or stolen identities and posed as United States military personnel who were stationed overseas. They allegedly contacted their victims and formed online relationships with them before asking them for money, claiming they needed it to pay for shipping gold bars to the United States.

Between January of and Sept. Sarpong posted photos of himself on social media posing with large amounts of cash, high-end cars and expensive jewelry, according to officials. Skip to content. New Jersey. Sarpong posted photos of himself on social media posing with large amounts of cash, high-end cars and expensive jewelry, officials said. Local Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.

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Marriage/Dating Scams

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.

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating apps or social media sites For example, you could do a search for “oil rig scammer” or “US Army scammer.

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. Many of these types of fraudsters feature common characteristics that anyone looking for love on the internet should know. One of the most common romance fraud schemes in recent years involves impersonators using images of U.

Sometimes these requests are for gift cards or prepaid debit cards, assistance with medical bills for family members, or funds to pay for international round-trip airfare for a first meeting with the victim. In the case involving the New Jersey man mentioned above, fraudsters pretending to be U. Search engines, such as Google and Bing, allow users to search the internet for an image such as a profile picture.

If a reverse image search turns up multiple profiles with different names that all share the same profile picture, chances are their intentions are less than sincere. Repeated excuses of emergencies that prevent a quick, live conversation should be a major red flag of a romance scam. There is no shortage of free or cheap means to conduct an international phone call or video chat WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype and FaceTime, just to name a few , and anyone who can access the internet to send emails or direct messages should be able to give their newfound love interest a few minutes of time for some virtual flirtation.

Scam victims left broke and brokenhearted


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