It all starts innocently enough.
A man reaches out online through private messaging or the dating app you’re on.
He seems to say and do all the right things. Everything seems perfect.
And you fall for him. Hard.
It happens all the time.
There’s rarely a day that goes by when someone isn’t reaching out to me about the amazing person they met online.
In the cases I deal with, the man is impersonating a soldier in the U.S. military.
Seeing a handsome soldier reaching out to establish a connection seems to make people trust the situation quickly.
After all, who is more honorable than someone who has chosen to serve his country?
Soon enough, he’s requesting monetary funds in one way or another.
Sometimes it will start very innocently, such as asking for an iTunes card.
Other times, they go straight for the ultimate prize and ask for thousands of dollars to return home from a deployment.
The truth is that in almost all of the cases I’ve worked with, the women had alarm bells going off.
Something didn’t seem quite right.
Some stopped the conversation with the “soldier” and reached out to me. And it was case closed very quickly.
Sadly, in many women who asked for help, they have sent thousands of dollars to this man and, in a few cases, tens of thousands of dollars.
Women have told me they have been left with nothing as they turned their life savings over to this man who was making grand promises of a fairytale life together if she could help him get back home.
If you’re in that situation or know someone else who is, read on for the action steps to take now.
One quick note before we dive in, it’s not just women who are victims of the scams.
There are female scammers and male victims, as well as same-sex scams.
There is no discrimination when it comes to scams parting you with your hard-earned money.
Realize You Aren’t Alone
When people reach out to me, they’re not only heartbroken but also incredibly disappointed in themselves that they fell victim to a scammer.
I have worked with thousands of people since I wrote my first article on scammers impersonating soldiers, and I would venture to guess that’s a small percentage of the ones who are out there.
Many scammers are working on multiple victims at the same time.
Not everyone will send money, so they increase their odds by carrying on multiple “relationships” at once.
There’s no easy way to deal with the emotional side of things.
But take at least some solace in knowing that others have fallen prey to the same tactics.
Block Him and Report His Profile
This one is usually the toughest for those that I work with.
You must block him where you’re communicating with him.
And even though he may turn around and just set up a new profile, you should still report that profile, whether it’s to Facebook or a dating site.
Many women balk at the thought of this.
They either want to figure out a way to bust him or think if he knows she figured it out, he can come clean and move on with an honest relationship.
I can’t tell you the number of times women have said they confronted him; he admitted it was a scam but then said that she’s different – he was truly in love with her.
He’s a changed man because of her.
These are probably some of the most heartbreaking situations as no matter what I say to them or how much proof there is, they go back to the scammer.
This only results in having more money taken from them in the future by this man who has supposedly changed his ways.
The way to sanity and to truly move on from this situation is to block him.
Cut off any form of communication you have with him.
He is a scammer, pure and simple.
And he will not change.
He knows exactly what to say to suck you back in, but you now know it’s a facade.
Realize the Threats Are Empty
In some cases, when the woman confronts the scammer about the scam and realizes he isn’t going to get any money, he gets angry and starts hurling threats.
This could include threats he will come after you physically, he will hurt your family, or he will expose information you provided him over the time you’ve been communicating.
This could include pictures or even sensitive financial information.
These scammers are generally in another country. In most cases, they’re on another continent.
They’re not coming here to hunt you down over not sending them an iTunes card or giving them a $1,000.
It would cost them more than that to get here.
They can expose your information, but in every case that I’ve worked with so far, that hasn’t happened.
With all that said, if you truly believe your safety is at risk, contact your local authorities for assistance.
Protect Yourself From Further Financial Damage
Have you provided him with bank account information or credit card numbers?
Have you given him your social security number or other highly sensitive personal data?
Many, many people have done this.
They have provided access to their bank account or, in some cases, even added him to their bank account.
If you have provided any financial or sensitive data, you need to act fast.
Once they realize you aren’t going to give them money willingly, they may use the information they have to get it.
Credit Cards – If you have provided credit card data, call the credit card company and let them know an unauthorized person now has access to your credit card information.
Ask for the card to be closed and have another card issue.
Pay close attention to your credit card statements and any charges that may appear. You can dispute any unauthorized charges with the credit card company.
Bank Accounts – If you have added someone to your account or otherwise provided access to your bank account, contact the bank immediately to have the account closed.
Again, watch your account closely to be sure unauthorized transfers and withdrawals aren’t happening.
Be sure to be forthright with the bank as to what happened so they can flag your account.
Social Security Number & Other Sensitive Data – If you have provided this information that could allow someone to steal your identity and begin getting credit in your name, you need to contact the credit bureaus.
There are three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
You can contact each one and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report.
If you cannot prove you have been a victim of identity theft (yet), there is a small fee to place the alert.
This essentially locks your credit report and places a fraud alert message on the credit report to alert creditors that additional steps to verify the transaction need to occur.
Creditors will not conduct a full credit check without a PIN that a particular agency has provided you.
It’s a pain when you are legitimately trying to open a new credit source (like buying a car), but believe me, trying to unravel everything after identity theft is way worse.
File a Report with Authorities
It is doubtful you will ever recover the money that you have sent to the scammer.
You can alert the FBI and their internet crimes division about the situation that has occurred.
But don’t expect that it will result in getting your hard-earned money back.
In all the time that I’ve been working with people involved with these scams, no one has ever recovered their money.
But some do get satisfaction in knowing they have at least reported the crime to the appropriate authorities.
Educate Yourself on the Signs of a Scam
By this point, you have firsthand knowledge of how the scam happens, but these scammers change their tactics all the time.
Quite a few people who ask for help reach out multiple times over a few months to ask about different people.
When they say and do all of the right things, promise you this amazing life together as soon as he returns, and sends attractive pictures, it can be tough to think with your head and not your heart.
Throughout the site, I’ve written about signs of a scam and different scam types run over the years.
Take the time to read the articles as well as share them with others.
The only way we will be able to stop these monsters is through education.
When it becomes an unprofitable venture, they will have no reason to continue.
But every person who sends them money emboldens them more and more.
We must get the word out to other people to stop the cycle. It’s the only way.
Don’t Try to Contact the Real Soldier
I don’t allow pictures of the soldiers women have sent to be posted on my site or social media channels.
The soldiers in the pictures are just as much of a victim in this whole thing as you are.
They are also just as powerless to stop the scammer as you are.
I would try to find the soldier to tell them about the scam using their images in the beginning.
This did nothing but cause heartache to know that not only had their pictures been stolen, but they were also being used to scam others.
The only benefit is those who had a public profile (which allowed their pictures to be stolen) would often change their settings to private.
I will still find the real soldier in some cases, but I no longer do so to make contact.
I do so to prove to the woman who won’t believe otherwise that the person they are talking to is not the man in the picture.
Many times, these soldiers are married with children.
For the woman who tells me she must find the real soldier because she’s fallen in love with him, finding the real profile and allowing them to see they have a family already is what needs to happen for closure.
You may believe you have fallen in love with the person in the picture but remember, the real soldier in those pictures doesn’t even know who you are.
You have actually fallen in love with the deceitful scammer taking advantage of you and your giving heart.
Please note that I am not always successful in locating the real soldier, and it is a tedious process to try to track down a real person based on the fake information the scammer has shared.
I am not able to honor every request to track down the real soldier.
I hope this information has been helpful to you if you have fallen victim to a scam.
If you are having a tough time dealing with the emotional side of everything that has happened, please reach out to a qualified person in your area, whether that’s a clergy member or a therapist.
If you have further questions about how to handle the situation after you’ve been scammed or you’re trying to figure out if you’re the victim of a romance scam involving a soldier, please reach out to me via Facebook Messenger.
23 thoughts on “Victim of a Military Romance Scam? 7 Steps You Must Take Now”
I just got offline with someone who did everything you said they would. But I refuse to send money and it got
Pretty ugly. I was on twitter when he started following me and we started chatting. I’m not looking for a husband I thought we could be pen pals but with in days he was asking for money. It’s sad how far they will go he’s a General in Afghanistan on a peace mission he been I’m the Army over 20years. And he hasn’t been paid in a year and nine months.and he can’t get to his money till he get back home. It’s gone from silly to down right rude because I won’t play his game. But everything you said has happen but I refuse to send money. Thank you so much for the information I can close everything and not feel guilty.
I’m glad you were able to figure out it was a scam. And also that you didn’t send any money to him! That’s the best way to stop them! When people stop sending money, they will have no choice but to stop as well.
Thanks for the info, I’ve met one, feel weird that his background & we chat only few days. Really wanna try to find the real soldier to tell him this…
I don’t reach out to the real soldier any longer as it just causes them heartache to know their pictures are being used and they can’t do anything about it. I’m sorry you found yourself caught up in one of these scams.
I just want to know how can you find out about the SO CALLED PERSONand whether he is real I’ve got the name and his personal email address is got alot of things going through my head I just want some REAL ANSWERS
Regards Maree I’m from Australia that what makes it hard
You would need to ask for his military email address.
Just had my very own scam US MARINE CORPS trooper nightmare / stalker on my Twitter account.. Swamped with fake pix, ID card copy and art work as well as love poems 24/7..it’s a secured account and you need his permission via Twitter to follow him.. I made it public on my Twitter page and blocked/ reported him.. He got really nasty and threatened me once I sussed him out.. You’re more than welcome to contact me.. Because it’s a crime to brave Marines on deployment and soldiers serving as well as emotional terrorism.
I’m gay, and was nearly a military romance scam victim. The “guy” was just too perfect!
Kept telling me how it was just “a gift of God” that he was 42, with the face and body of a
22-year-old Latino soldier, with a body-building hobby. Other little nagging things kept
bothering me — it was a version of the “I need a new phone” scam. 1st, he shouldn’t
have needed a phone card, and 2nd, How did he have the time to date me in a combat zone?
I seem to remember from my time in service that when in the field, if you weren’t actively
engaged with the enemy — you were trying to catch up on much-needed sleep!
And fortunately, I stumbled on the articles that lead me here!
There could be pictorial retaliation from this “guy”, now that he’s blocked, but I’ve never
really had any prudish sense of “body-modesty” to begin with, LMFGAO!
Just reiterating that GAYS AREN’T IMMUNE TO THIS SCAM!
Thank you for sharing your story! Everyone needs to be reminded that the scammer will impersonate whoever they need to if they believe they may be able to get money.
i met a scam about 2 weeks ago. (mobile phone no +1 (616) 275- 4653; name Chris Wade.
And he said he had lost both his mom and dad.. for that kind of saying, i do not believe in him.
And said he was on a peace mission in Egypt.
Also said he was E-6 and joined Afghanistan war in 2014, hardly died there?
To be honest, he said sweet words day by day.
And i asked him to call to ensure he is true or not.
Seems he is quite free all day along to text me. how possible?
Then i wait for what to happen..
then suddenly, he said he was unhappy that his credit card can not work and his phone needs wifi to continue talk.
from that minute on, i know it is a trick.
So i call it a romance Scam…
Then i blocked him.
and now he texted me, so i told him that i am poor and spend all money on travelling..
now, no more contact, LOL
Im from New Zealand, and, I too have just become a victim of a romance scam with a soldier. Everything from meeting this guy on social media to a email address, where we spoke everyday, how he poured his heart out to me everyday. I was silly enough to go as far as sending him google cards on line, which I know I’m never going to get back, but, not as far as sending him money to receive a package from him, for him to collect of me, I put a stop to that very quickly. I put a stop to him very quickly too. He called me names under the sun, but, I think I pissed him off enough to work out his true identity. Never felt so foolish.
I have a feeling that I have recently become a victim to this scam although he has sent numerous pictures and when I have asked for army email address have been told that he cannot provide that. I have had all the excuses he told me that they are not allowed to video call despite calling me on video. I have seen his face and he has shared his ID badge now getting angry and saying he can’t believe that he fallen in love with me etc etc
My name is BrosnanLockesley, I met a beautiful lady on Mingle 2 and then it went over to Skype. within one week she told me she loves me and adores me. she told me that he’s 36 years old and in The US Army in Iran, there is no US military base in Iran. She asked me for 500 Euros so she could buy a flight ticket and come to me. , I did not send any money. and she kept asking, I told her that she is a liar and a fake person. , then she started to insult me. This online romance went on for 2 months. She told me she is called Kendra Kavanagh and is a nurse in The Nurses Officer Corps 66b.
My name is Christine A
I think I have an issue
He is claiming to be a soldier
But when he ask to help his daughter that is sick
Red flags went up
I have so many pictures
I need to send
So we can stop this
Let’s hook up so I can exchange the many pics