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

Nowadays, you have to be cautious of everything you do online. Scammers are always trying to get money, goods or services out of unsuspecting people — and military members are often targets. Here are some scams that have recently been affecting service members, Defense Department employees and their families. In April, Army Criminal Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams in which online predators go on dating sites claiming to be deployed active-duty soldiers. It’s a problem that’s affecting all branches of service — not just the Army. Scam Alert Military experts are constantly warning service members about social media scams that can affect them and their families.

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Scammers have caught on. The US Army Criminal Investigation Command has issued a warning to anyone dating a military service-person online claiming to be deployed overseas to be cautious. They have even organized task forces to deal with the rise in online dating scams in which a scammer will create a fake dating site or dating app profile using photos from military personnel deployed overseas.

In fact, hundreds of allegations pour in every month. The scammer will claim to be deployed overseas and lure the mark into a romantic entanglement. Some of these scams even go so far as to plan weddings.

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After years of bad luck with dating, she, like millions of people across the globe, started using online dating sites to meet new people. A few years ago, she received what appeared to be a promising email on the dating site Match. The man told her that he was a U. Air Force pilot deployed to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said he was a widower with an adorable daughter — the type of man and family that she’d been looking for, and most of all, he seemed very interested in Schuster.

The relationship quickly intensified, and Schuster fell hard, emailing multiple times each day. He sent her poetry and page after page of emails professing his love. The man even sent her a few pictures dressed in his military uniform, and he was very handsome. Schuster noticed that her suitor had bad grammar, but that didn’t really bother her because her immigrant father had poor grammar as well.

She asked to speak with him in person or via Skype, but the man said that wasn’t allowed. After a few weeks, the man told her he needed some money to help his daughter go on a school trip. The money requests didn’t stop there. Shortly after the first wire transfer, the man told her that he wanted to get out of the Air Force and join some of his pilot friends in starting a private company that flies charter planes.

She was told the military wouldn’t let him access his bank accounts, so he needed her help to make his dream happen.

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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.

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He allegedly pretended to be a U. Sarpong was arrested Wednesday and is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the U. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced. Sarpong, a citizen of Ghana and legal U. Often her allegedly pretended to be a soldier stationed in Syria and told people he met on the sites that he had obtained gold bars and needed money in order to ship them to the U. Sarpong and the others involved in the alleged scam, used multiple email accounts and broadband internet phone calls to communicate with their targets and provide information about bank accounts.

Court documents state that Sarpong posted to social media several times about his influx of money. In one post from , he held a stack of cash to his hand like it was phone with the caption, “Hey uh can I use your phone.

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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The Israeli military said Tuesday it had and then moved the relationship over to the WhatsApp texting service.

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You know what’s worse than being single, though? Trying to find a relationship using dating sites. But if that wasn’t enough, there are also military.

The U. Army has issued a warning to those who may have ever met a service member on a dating site or social media. A Syracuse resident was on a dating site and saw what appeared to be the profile of a soldier in Afghanistan. Army, and found out that they get hundreds of complaints every month from people who say they were duped on legitimate dating sites. The Army calls it an epidemic and is warning people to be cautious connecting to anyone online who claims to be a soldier serving overseas.

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I Spent A Month Looking For Love On Military Dating Sites

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:.

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TEL AVIV, Israel AP — The Israeli military said Tuesday it had uncovered a plot by Hamas militants to spy on soldiers by befriending them on social media and then luring them into downloading fake dating applications that gave Hamas access to their smartphones. A senior intelligence officer said Hamas initially reached out to the soldiers through Facebook, often posing as young women, and then moved the relationship over to the WhatsApp texting service.

The military said it had uncovered three Hamas-operated apps on Google Play that had been downloaded about times by soldiers since the beginning of the year. The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity under military regulations, said the Hamas cyber efforts to snoop on soldiers were nothing new. The military said the first two apps were called Glancelove and Winkchat, supposed dating apps.

The photos belonged to real women whose photos and personal details were stolen from their Facebook profiles. Some were scantily clad and kissing each other. Conversations were conducted in everyday Hebrew from Israeli mobile numbers and the military said those operating the accounts were not necessarily based in Gaza. The official said no damage was done, thanks to newly enacted guidelines for military mobile phone use.

The military said the Hamas efforts signaled a bold new step by its expanding cyber division, as the militant group ruling Gaza seeks new ways of confronting Israel. The military said it had fortified its defenses by upgrading its guidelines for soldiers so that they are less exposed to cyber warfare. Information officers are deployed across units to provide a quick response if soldiers are attacked, and the military targets soldiers with invitations to fake apps to test their awareness.

The military would not disclose whether it had been in touch with Google or others, or what it was doing with the information it has gathered from the would-be hackers, saying the emphasis now was on further education of soldiers to beware the pitfalls of modern electronic communications.

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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.

The U.S. Army has issued a warning to those who may have ever met a service member on a dating site or social media.

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. These crooks often present documents and other “proof” of their financial need when asking their victims to wire money to them. Such scams, when they involve dating sites, pose a unique challenge in the fight against impostors and identity thieves, because on such sites a dating profile is often required to conduct a search for fake accounts. In addition, it is not possible to remove dating site profiles without legitimate proof of identity theft or a scam.

If you suspect fraud on a dating site, take a screenshot of any advances for money or impersonations and report the account on the platform immediately. The following scams affect military members:.

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