When you meet someone online, especially those claiming to be in the military, you have to be careful to guard your heart as well as your wallet.
As these scammers seek to establish a relationship with you, they will use our service members’ identity to gain your trust.
Usually, within a matter of even a few days, they will make the first ask for something of monetary value.
Typically, they will begin with an item of smaller value.
Even though most will ask very early on in the “relationship,” it doesn’t always happen that way.
The scammer is likely trying to manage multiple scams at once, so it could take longer in some instances for the first ask to occur.
Do not think you’re in the clear if he hasn’t asked for anything yet, regardless if you’ve been talking for weeks or even months.
The Easy Ask: iTunes Cards
An iTunes card is a typical first ask. It’s relatively inexpensive and also available almost anywhere.
In most cases, they don’t want the physical card; instead, they want you to send them the code on the back of the card that will allow them to access the card’s value.
If they can get you to agree to this smaller monetary amount, they know they have a warm lead.
The following request may be additional iTunes cards (or other gift cards), or they may go in for the more significant dollar amount.
Asking for a phone is another early ask. This could be in the form of asking for a phone card or even asking you to pay for a phone and/or phone plan so they will be able to chat with you.
Soldiers don’t need a phone card or phone to chat with you when they are overseas. They can go to the MWR area where they are and use the phone for free to call anywhere and anyone they need to call.
Many bases now have wifi available, allowing them to call, chat, text, and video conference through various avenues.
Don’t let them tell you that they are in a remote area and don’t have access to either. At a minimum, they will have satellite phones with them.
My husband deployed four times with special operations, and we never paid for a single phone call.
If they tell you it’s a security risk for them to be able to call you through any of the traditional methods, then why wouldn’t it be the same through the avenue they’re attempting to get you to go through instead?
There is nothing secure about Facebook messenger, hangouts, Whatsapp, dating apps, etc., yet they’re using those platforms to communicate with you. Please don’t fall for it.
Fees for Forms
In some cases, they will propose marriage and fill you with lies about the fairytale life you’ll live once he returns home from the deployment.
However, to be engaged, he will tell you to complete forms to be sent to his commander.
They will sometimes refer to this as a fiancée form.
They may also tell you that you need to complete a form so he can add you to his account, specify you as his next of kin, or entitle you to his pay and/or benefits.
There are no forms for any of this that would be sent from overseas or sent back to his commander. The military doesn’t even acknowledge you until you’re married.
They don’t care who the soldier is dating or engaged to. There is no form to become engaged, or so he can speak with you.
And even if there were such a form, there wouldn’t be a fee associated with it. And it certainly wouldn’t be something his commander is discussing with you.
Money for His Flight
He will tell you that he is returning from deployment soon and needs you to pay for his return flight home so the two of you can be together.
This request may also come in the form of an option he has to return early from deployment or to retire early, but he has to pay a fee to do it. Along with that, he also needs his flight covered.
He may tell you his account is locked, or he doesn’t have access to it overseas.
He may promise that as soon as you’re together, he will pay you back for the flight. He needs you to help him pay for it now.
He may even tell you he has new deployment orders, and he will be away even longer than planned unless you’re able to pay for this flight so he can leave early.
This typically involves a sob story about going to a remote or dangerous location.
He will tell you how he’s scared and doesn’t think he will make it back if he has to go because of all of the things happening in that location.
Sending You Money, Gifts, or Packages
Believe it or not, the scam will sometimes involve him sending you money (or other goods).
Or at least that’s what he would like for you to believe. He is having someone else send money to you as a passthrough.
One of the most common scenarios is him telling you some other person (typically a female relative) will send you money for you to send onto him.
He will have wild excuses for why this needs to happen in this way.
In actuality, that female relative is another victim of the scam who believes they are sending the money to a female relative who can then get the money to him.
This is money laundering. And by accepting what is essentially stolen funds and passing it along to him (or through other “agents”), you have just committed a crime.
On top of that, it also became much harder to trace the money as it’s passing through multiple people’s hands.
In other cases, he may say he is sending you money. He may send you a check to deposit and then tell you to send the money to him.
He will be very adamant about you sending the money as soon as you receive the check.
The reason for this is the check is going to bounce. It will generally take a few days for it to bounce back to the bank.
In the meantime, you’ve sent the money to him, the check bounces, and you’re now out your own money. Plus, you will be hit with fees from your bank.
In yet another scenario, he will ask for your bank account or credit card account information to send funds to you (or to have someone send it to you on his behalf supposedly).
I’ve spoken to people who have provided full access to their bank account or credit card to receive these funds.
The funds never arrive though he will continue to tell you that you need to send additional money to pay for processing fees, pay for the courier, or whatever other crazy fees they can imagine.
And you’ve now given a criminal full access to your money.
When he uses that money for criminal activities (money he was given access to with your permission), you’re now involved in the crime.
Bottom Line: A Real Soldier Won’t Ask You To Send Money
These are just a few of the ways these scammers may ask for money throughout a relationship. Know that a real soldier will NEVER ask you for money.
A real soldier will also never have to use an agent, a courier, Western Union, or any other service type. He won’t need to route money through a relative, friend, or any other person.
He won’t need to send you money or packages for safekeeping. He wasn’t given anything as a “reward” for a successful mission he needs to get out of the country.
He will also not be routing money through another country. For instance, he won’t tell you to send money to Nigeria when he’s in Afghanistan.
He won’t tell you to send money at all.
Soldiers have access to their bank accounts. They have the supplies they need. They have all the food they need and want.
There is NO reason to send money in any shape or form (actual cash, care packages, gift cards, or any other form of anything that has monetary value).
If You’ve Fallen Victim Before, Watch Out For More
If you’ve already sent money, you need to know that you have been added to the “suckers list.”
I know that’s a harsh name, but this is not a name I made up – it’s what the scammers call it. This is the list they have of people who have sent money.
They sell this list to others, as someone who sent money is more likely to send it again.
You will likely have other scammers reach out to you. And they will all have the same purposes – to get money from you.
Guard your heart and your wallet. Never, for any reason whatsoever, send money to someone you met online.
13 thoughts on “How Scammers Will Ask For Money”
I think this clears up many doubts, really effectively! Once again, thank you for accepting me into the group and for all this altruistic work that you are putting in! It is truly appreciated.
I have met a guy on line who says hes working for the UNMAS in Iraq clearing landmines, he was on a base but moved to remote area where no internet just phones. He says he wants to chat on phone but wants me to register on an email address and its $250 then we can phone each other ? I am starting to think this is a scam, anyone heard of this ?
first excuse my bad english. I am living in Europe and I experienced everything you have listed.
I was flattered by the lovely man in the picture. although I felt that something was wrong here … I chatted on … to the point where it came to money … then my mind started again. it’s my own fault … I assume that I did not chat with the person from the photo, but his idendity was taken over.
maybe you have the chance to inform this personable man that someone has stolen his idendity.
Many thanksand best regards, Sonja
After Reading these stories about these scammers my first reaction is Outrage of and towards the people doing this, and then Some Sympathy towards the Victims, both the innocent women and the innocent men of the military who were Robbed of their Identities, good names and the Honor of the Military being Used and Maligned!
As a fresh and new Retired Marine I Will State that Everything this site says about these SCAMMERS Is Pitifully True! All the Bullshit stories and lines used Are Just That, Bullshit! Sorry for my Candor, most Marines are well known to be Candid yet Honorable!
For those Women asking the same Repeated questions, and thinking somewhere in The depths of your soul that “it may happen, but not to you”, I Promise its Happening to You!
We dont give ANY Info about “secret missions”, our Location, our particular M.O.S (our military occupations) especially those of us who have Special Ops professions! NONE! EVERRRRR!
We Actually EARN a Very Good Living and Dont Need Your money, Especially the Higher Ranking Officers and NCO’s!
All military members are Allotted time for phone calls home to their loved ones using various communication methods for the members to utilize, especially the lower ranking members who may not have a phone that he/she can utilize for international calls! AND they dont have to pay for these Calls, Ever!
The Moral of our Military is one of the highest priorities of every Command!
And as I also read, which is Also very True, every Service Member has an official Military email, PROVIDED Free which ends with the .mil format! We Never Have to pay for Email, Ever! That’s waaay Funny!
Our Dependents Have the Very Best of Helth Insurance Plans Called Tri-Care, which as a Retiree I Still maintain! It pays Absolutely Everything for Any Medical issue! The last time I had a whole series of MRI’S done, my coPay was approx 40 bucks if Memorie serves for services that I know cost upwards of 10k! Anyhow the point is we dont need help paying for medical expenses Ever, we get the best for almost Nothing!
We Also dont get “Standed” Somewhere Needing Money to make it home, ever! We fly both on military planes and major air carriers such as American Airlines and others, and Neither Military Flights Nor Major Carriers Strand their members/customers, Ever!
We Don’t Need Money from Anyone under Any of these Bullshit claims! These Pleas for your money I Promise are coming from Some Low Life Scammer Based in Nigeria where these Scams originate due to the country not having any Laws/Govt that do Anything to Crack down on thess Low Lifes!
If your Asking a question here, you need to Stop Waiting for someone to tell you that You are the Lone Exception and are not being scammed/Screwed and STOP any and All communication with the Low Life, Report the Profile that’s Scamming you if possible And Move on in Life!
A Retired Marine!
A greetings here from Philipoines!
I am Rhani, a filipina, who actually experiencing or let’s say im starting relation with a military man. According to him his name is Gordon Richard.. He uses firstname.lastname@example.org our communication. Almost a month now we do exchanging emails. He sent his own photos, with trooops, kis kids and his lost wife.
The new event from his duty was he was assigned to Benin to train the young troops there for the upcoming election next month 2021.
He doesnt ask and never asked money any stating regarding money. yesterday March 11, 2021 i received a missed call, that was a number from Benin it was a country code from Benin… At the same date in the morning he emailed me that he pleaded his CO if ever he make a call to me, i sent him my mobile number, then i received a missed call which actually i was not able to answer.
Actually, we are not on our daily basis chatting over emails, his response took for about 3 days a more.
I dont know, im confuse. please help me to recongnize if he is a true and real marine or military.
I have heard from one of my best friends that the combat officer who works with US Marine Corps have been talking to her for 2 weeks already.
Hi, Ive been talking to a man who says he’s a Seargent Major in the Army for 29. years, about to retire. We’ve been talking on Twitter for about a month. Yesterday, he says he needs my help with something. I am instantly hesitant, but reply that I’ll help anyway, just to find out what he wants. So, he says he has a package of titanium that he can’t receive because he’s overseas and can I help with that? I said sure, whatever. He tells me he will give me the details later that day. Well, I couldn’t help myself, I had to call BS! I even gave him a chance to come clean. Of course, he repeatedly said he didn’t know what I was talking about. So, even though I fully I tend to report the abuse to Twitter and block him, I wanted to get more info so I’m playing him til I get tired of it, lol!!
All that said, do you agree this guy is a scam?
I’m glad I found this site. Facebook has a lot of scammers on their dating site. I had to block a few of them. Its crazy how these scammers are switching the game up.. So here are a few that I didn’t see. I came across several. First I notice they fall in love quickly. I talked to one guy for two day and he was already telling me that he loves me. He needed me to send him a Steam Card so he could talk to me. I blocked him. One posted and an Army Warrior CrossFit athlete until I saw he wasn’t real. I notice he had an accent when he called me so I goggled this person and was shocked to see him on you tube. I don’t know how he was able to pull his pic of him and his daughter, he even went so far and to have his fake cousin set us up on Facebook. My friend had one guy purpose to her then asked her for money for a game. Some of my other friends have been asked for Amazon cards and a subscriptions to the internet. These scammers have more that one profile. I assume if one doesn’t work the others will. Be careful out there on these dating sites. If I hear of any more scammers I will post them here so no one gets hurt.
good luck looking for that perfect person
I need help! I was talking to someone who claimed to be deployed in Syria. After a week of texting he said he loved me which is CRAZY! He says he cannot call me or facetime me or take pictures b/c he is not allowed. Something about a 412 form he needs to put me on in order to communicate with me. He said he was coming home to the US in May and then it changed to November. He says now today he is starving. He hasnt ate since Sat and is embarrassed to ask but needs my “help”
SCAM, right? I SO didnt want to believe it but…..i think he is fake.
I have met a US army soldier on Instagram. He says his wife died in a car crash. He’s in love with me. He has asked for gift card from Walmart so the nanny can buy a birthday cake and other items etc. For his daughters 13th and he is sad that he cannot be there. He’s showing all the signs of A scammer. How can I find out more. His location and get him repoted
I just want to say I greatly appreciate you writing this and informing us of the various signs to watch for. I have had a few “military men ” try reaching out on Facebook. Now a few have communicated, sent pictures of them, their family, and ummm one I’m talking to now has sent even a more private picture (how does a scammer manage to get that is beyond me. ) However, they baffled me, he says ok to sending me his military email, but hasn’t yet. I been talking with him for a day or so now. He’s really gorgeous with a rocking body, but my gut says he is a fake. I haven’t found that online yet, with looking at all the scammers pictures, I found two that I had in the past, but not him. He’s young, his English is as good as most of ours, he actually claims to be from USA, but is in Kabul now and has been for over a year. He did request the Whatsup app, but then I said scammer and he got genuinely confused and promised he wasn’t. Hasn’t requested money, but asks that I wait for him to come home. Then he sent me a Gmail and now I know he’s a scammer, bc that’s not his military email. His name on Facebook is Smith brown. If anyone knows how to get ahold of the real military man. I will gladly share his Facebook pictures. So the real man overseas can know this is happening to him.