The internet has made it easier than ever for people to find love. Unfortunately, it has also made it easier for military romance scammers to prey on unsuspecting victims. If you’re thinking about dating someone who is in the military, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to avoid being scammed. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the signs that a service member may be a scammer, and we will provide tips on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
How Do Military Romance Scams Work?
If you’re wondering how military romance scams work, it’s actually quite simple. The scammer will create a fake profile on a dating site and reach out to potential victims. They will gain trust by pretending to be interested in the victim and their life, and they may even send gifts or flowers. Once they have gained the victim’s trust, they will ask for money.
Here are some Warning Signs of Military Romance Scams:
1. They can’t access their bank account
If the person you’re talking to says that they can’t access their bank account from overseas, it’s a red flag. The military has banking options available for service members, so there is no reason why they wouldn’t be able to access their money.
2. They require cash to buy food or a residence
The military provides food and housing for its members, so there is no reason why a service member would need you to send them money for these expenses.
3. They’ve acquired a large sum of money and need assistance returning it to the United States
Scammers will often say that they have come into a large sum of money and need help getting it back to the United States. The military does not allow its members to solicit money from civilians, so this is a huge red flag.
4. They are being forced to pay money by the commanding officer
The scammer will say that their commanding officer is demanding money from them, and they need your help to get the money back to the United States. Again, the military does not allow its members to solicit money from civilians, so this is a big red flag.
5. They are demanding you to keep a valuable item on your behalf
The scammer may say that they need you to hold onto a valuable package for them, and they will ask you to send them money so that they can have it shipped. They may even go so far as to say that the package contains their life savings or something of great personal value.
6. They must pay to go on vacation.
The military provides its members with leave, so there is no reason why a service member would need you to pay for their leave. This is a common scam tactic, and it’s one of the easiest ways to spot a scammer.
7. They’re in the special forces, and they can’t video chat for security reasons
The special forces are a highly classified branch of the military, and service members in this branch are not allowed to share information about their work with civilians.
8. They require cash to pay for their children, or perhaps medical treatments
The military provides its members with health insurance, so there is no reason why a service member would need you to pay for their medical procedures. Additionally, the military also provides child care for its members, so there is no reason why a service member would need you to pay for their children.
9. They quickly tell you they love you or even propose
Love takes time to develop, and a service member who is deployed overseas will not be able to talk to you every day. If someone you’re talking to tells you they love you or even proposes marriage after only a few weeks of talking, be aware it’s a red flag.
10. They only use a personal email address (not a .mil one)
The military provides its members with .mil email addresses, so if someone you’re talking to is only using a personal email address, it’s a red flag.
11. They provide you with a phone number but never respond to it
If you’re talking to someone online and they give you a direct phone number but never answer when you call, it’s a red flag. The military has a strict no-contact policy, so if someone you’re talking to is trying to bypass this policy, it’s a red flag.
12. They want to retire early, but they need to settle their financial obligations first
The military has a retirement system in place, so there is no reason why a service member would need to pay to retire early.
13. They send you a military ID badge that is “official”
The military does not provide its members with physical ID badges. If someone you’re talking to sends you a badge, it’s likely that it’s fake.
What Should You Do If You’re the Victim of a Military Romance Scam?
- First, report it to the dating site or platform you’re using.
- Next, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC).
- Finally, reach out to a support group for victims of military romance scams.
To conclude, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of a military dating scam. If you think you may be the victim of a scam, there are a few things you can do to get help.