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.
Military Scams | Common Tricks & How to Avoid Them
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 prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust.
Romance scammers are fleecing vulnerable Australian women out of millions of dollars by pretending to be US soldiers or heartbroken widowers looking for love. Romance scammers are pretending to be US military personnel to appeal to Australian victims. Experts say people are attracted to those in uniform like those above stock photo , plus it also gives the scammer an excuse to contact their victim at odd hours.
CSCRC Senior Research Fellow Cassandra Cross military profiles were popular with scammers who use psychologically abusive tactics including gaslighting and isolation to target vulnerable older singles. Dr Cross said the scammers can then contact people at any time of the day or night because they ‘work in the military’. The military profile works on victims. Romance fraud was the second highest category of financial loss trailing only investment fraud, the agency said.
People aged over 45 lose the most money with women more likely to be targeted. Research shows the nasty online lotharios try to socially isolate their victims by removing them from their family and close friends. Dr Cross said they will add an air of secrecy to the relationship, telling their targets not to talk to friends and family about it.
How I catfished my catfisher: a W5 investigation into romance scams
Military combat isn’t the only battle service members are fighting. Those were the findings of a recent data analysis by Comparitech. The consumer technology website analyzed scam data through the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Below are the fraud schemes that have led to the steepest losses for military personnel, according to Comparitech.
In one notorious example, Colfax Capital Corp.
Military personnel and their families are attractive targets for scam artists and identity Be sure that your anti-virus and anti-phishing programs are up to date.
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.
Top Scams That Hurt Military Families
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. Unfortunately, these scams prey on fears about the coronavirus disease, trying to trick service members and family members into revealing sensitive information or donating money to a fraudulent cause.
Bogus emails that look legitimate can offer fake alerts or information about the outbreak, fake workplace policy updates, or fake medical advice. By clicking on links in these emails, you could download malware or have your identity stolen.
Most recently US and UK military identities have been used on many occasions with the fraudster saying he’s deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq. Once the target is ‘.
Avery Haines Investigative Correspondent, W5. I played along to try to get an inside look at the shadowy world of internet scammers. My game of cat fish – and-mouse with the man calling himself Oliver would have been entertaining, except for the fact that what he does is downright evil. I really wanna know you better hope we can be really close. Am always focused on my job. Oliver says he is a sergeant with the U. I believe when we start talking on the phone that will be so much better.
Sadly, Oliver says, Kabul, Afghanistan has wonky internet, and because of the nature of his work, a video call is strictly forbidden. Oliver begs me to send money so we can use the satellite phone. The cost? When I log back on, I see this:. Na guy man you Dey follow dey waist him time since You no go just talk say you be work man. Maka still go Dey bomb Na ogor go finish you there”.
In the course of researching this phenomenon, many women around me, colleagues and friends, have also been approached on Instagram by good looking, uniform wearing U.
Online Dating Scam: ‘Military Guy’ Steals Widow’s Heart and Nearly $500,000
It might start as a friendly introduction on Facebook. There are pictures of your friend in uniform. Somehow, things have gotten serious, but something still feels weird. The truth is, scam artists target the military community —either by stealing identities or targeting folks with military affinities. Military terminology and policies can be confusing and unfamiliar, so the target may be less likely to question the answers the scammer is giving.
Women in Kidderminster are being warned about an online dating scam involving men claiming to be British soldiers serving abroad and in need of cash.
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. Soldier, and then, using photographs of a Soldier from the internet, build a false identity to begin prowling the web for victims.
The most common scheme involves criminals, often from other countries — most notably from West African countries — pretending to be U. Soldiers serving in a combat zone or other overseas location.
Scammers target lonely hearts on dating sites
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.
man was arrested for allegedly scamming dozens of people out of more than $2 million while posing as a soldier on online dating sites.
Find members overseas are full of ecom holdings pty ltd and dates than any other dating website designed for online dating. This format is an offense, and enlisted persons pretending to access their benefits, air force, find their perfect match in general. Free verlage: lieferbar. Would you stay on desktop or mobile dating a military dating them. Meet and any other countries.
In reality, and fraud.
New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating sites, prosecutors say
The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. At years-old, Exposto had fallen for a widowed special forces soldier doing his bit for his country. They have never met, which was easily explained — he was deployed in Afghanistan. Exposto recently walked free after facing a death sentence in Malaysia for attempting to smuggle a kilogram of ice five years ago.
A military romance scam happens when a person claims that he is serving as a U.S. army person and stationed in far off countries like Afghanistan or Iraq.
A New Jersey man was busted Wednesday for running an international lonely hearts scam that turned deadly, authorities said. Sarpong is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the U. Sarpong frequently posted selfies on Instagram with large stacks of cash, expensive designer clothing, jewelry and luxury cars — all of which he allegedly bought with money that women sent him. Federal prosecutors said Sarpong and his cohorts created a variety of fake stories on their dating profiles, but the most common lie claimed they were military personnel stationed in Syria and who received, recovered or been awarded gold bars.
They asked their victims for money to ship the nonexistent gold bars to the U. Sarpong, a citizen of Ghana and legal U. His Instagram photos often featured massive piles of cash, bottles of Hennessy, Gucci shirts and high-end cars. None of his co-conspirators have been charged.
Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance
Each week, I get letters by email, on my website, by Twitter and on Facebook from women who are sending money to Africa and Afghanistan to help service members come home. This is a scam!! These are not men who are in the United States military. They are scam artists preying on desperate women. I met a sergeant in the Army on Facebook from the Zoosk dating site.
Romance scammers are clever, well organised and have a number of tried techniques which make them highly successful. But there are ways.
Bank and lender scams, romance scams, employment scams, benefits scams, identity theft scams. In terms of who sustained the most substantial losses, active-duty personnel and veterans of the U. The Army, of course, is the largest branch. The rest of the service-specific scams were counted as:. The most common schemes over the last seven years have been the fraudulent employment variety, the report said , which generally targeted newly discharged veterans looking for that much-desired first job as a civilian.
The scammers then inform the vet that he or she will be receiving a check to reimburse the amount spent on the nonexistent equipment — it bounces, of course. Identity theft was another highlighted medium for scamming military personnel, as were advance-fee scams. Nigerian princes be damned! For more newsletters click here.