7 Signs of a Military Romance Scam

signs of a romance scam

I’ve worked with many taken advantage of by scammers impersonating soldiers.

Each scam has its unique attributes, but there are some common themes.

If you run across any of these elements with the person you met online claiming to be a soldier, there is no question you are dealing with a scammer.

None.

You’re welcome to message me to chat about your situation.

But if the signs below are present, my answer will be the same as what I’m telling you in this article – it’s a scam.

Let’s dive in and look at each of the most common signs of a romance scam.

He’s on a Peacekeeping Mission

I’m not sure why this is such a popular excuse to use why they are deployed in another country, but this comes up often.

Granted, my husband served in the military as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were going strong.

Still, I have never heard a real soldier refer to his deployment as a peacekeeping mission.

It’s just not common terminology in the military.

Though if I based it solely on the people who have found themselves involved with a scammer, you would think peacekeeping missions are the only reason any of our military ever leaves the country.

They may also say they’re on a peacekeeping mission with the U.N. in what is usually a war-torn country, but he’s in the U.S. military.

Negative.

It’s definitely a red flag.

He’s in a Country You Haven’t Heard of Us Officially Being In

We have soldiers deployed to various regions and countries around the globe.

With most, you can easily learn we have a presence in that country with a simple Google search.

You will hear references to many countries in various news stories about our actions or, sadly, when a soldier is killed.

If you do not hear that we’re in that country from very public sources, the person is full of it.

Do we currently have soldiers in countries that the general public isn’t aware of? Absolutely.

But here’s the deal.

The soldiers deployed somewhere like that aren’t allowed to tell their spouse where they are, much less a random person they met online.

Those missions and deployments are generally classified.

And any real soldier would quickly find himself on the first plane back to the U.S. in some serious trouble for divulging their location.

If he’s truly in Syria, he can’t tell you he’s in Syria.

My husband was in special operations.

At the time he was in, we weren’t even able to tell anyone he deployed.

I wasn’t allowed to know exactly where he was or when he was coming home.

Our conversations were monitored to make sure there weren’t any slips.

So the chance that a soldier would volunteer he’s currently chatting with you from Syria is none to none.

The other country often used is Nigeria.

As many of these scammers are actually located in Nigeria, he may be telling the truth.

But he’s not in Nigeria with the U.S. military.

He’s on a Top Secret Mission

Ok, let’s think about this.

Does he volunteer that he’s on a top-secret mission?

There is no conversation between the soldier and his closest confidantes if he’s on a “top secret mission” and certainly not with someone he met online.

The very idea of a top-secret anything is that it remains a secret.

They aren’t allowed to speak of it.

There are serious legal consequences to leaking information that is classified, which a top-secret mission would be.

If someone tells you this, end the conversation. He’s lying.

He Needs You To Talk To His Commander

This has always been one of my favorites because it’s so ridiculous.

Sad but true, when you are involved with a soldier but not yet married, you are basically invisible to the military.

You’re not a consideration if you’re not married, and some would argue being married to him doesn’t even help.

Commanders or higher-ranking officers do not have time to chat with and vet the person a soldier met online while he’s deployed.

There’s no interest in it and no benefit to it.

Quite frankly, they have better things to do with their time.

There is no reason for you to talk to his commander.

He doesn’t need permission from his commander to speak with you, email you, or call you.

No matter how official sounding the title may be, you are not communicating with a high-ranking officer in the United States military.

He Needs You To Fill Out Fiancee Paperwork

This is generally used in conjunction with the scam above about needing to speak to his commander.

In this instance, he will inform you to speak to each other on the phone, continue communicating online, or even get engaged; you need to complete paperwork.

There is no such thing as this paperwork in the real world of the military.

Again, the military doesn’t care if you exist until you’re married.

And then the only official paperwork on you is what you have to do to get your military ID made AFTER you get married.

He will tell you that you can’t get engaged until you have completed this paperwork.

He may even tell you that you need to complete the fiancee paperwork to be eligible for his benefits or him to send money to you.

Typically, this form appears to come from a higher-ranking officer and has specific instructions to follow.

This includes a processing fee for the form.

In some cases, they may tell you the fee is to enable him to return home.

The paperwork will usually appear on watermarked paper with the logo of that particular branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc.).

The grammatical errors within the form are generally laughable.  

All fake.

He Refuses to Provide His Military Email Address

Every soldier is assigned a military email address.

This email address ends in mail.mil.

His official military email address will not be Gmail, Yahoo, or anything similar.

It also won’t end in usa.com.

If it doesn’t end in mail.mil, it’s not an official military email address.  

There is NO reason why he can’t share this with you. After all, it’s just an email.

It’s not top-secret, he doesn’t have to get permission from his commander, and there is no security risk to him providing it to you.

If he can’t provide it to you, he’s a scammer. Period.

It is always funny to me when someone says he can’t share his email address but then sends me a picture of what is supposedly his military ID.

His email address is a lot less sensitive than his military ID.

If he refuses to provide his email address, cut communication.

Even if he provides it, you must try to send an email to it by starting a new email.

Do not reply to the email he sent to you, even if it looks like it came from a mail.mil email address.

Does it bounce back when you try to send it?

Is he able to reply to you from the mail.mil email address with your original email intact?

Every single person who suspected they were involved in a scam and has ever tried this found the email address the person gave was fake.

He Asks For Money

This is the biggest clue of all.

A real soldier is not going to meet someone online and then ask for money.

And certainly won’t do it with some made-up story as to why he needs it.

Asking for money can occur in multiple ways.

He could ask for an iTunes gift card.

He could ask you to pay for his flight home from his deployment.

He could ask you to cash the check he’s sending to you and so you can send the money to him.

He could ask you to send him money via Western Union.

He could tell you that you have to pay a fee to continue communicating with each other.

He could give you a sob story about how his child needs medical care, and he doesn’t have access to his bank account.

Regardless of how it happens, if he asks you to spend money on anything, it’s a scam.

Scammers are working on multiple victims at once, and it may be anywhere from a few days to a few months before the topic of money comes up.

Regardless of when it may, it’s always a scam.  

Some have insisted he’s real because they have been talking for six months, and this is the first time he’s asking for money.

It doesn’t matter when he asks.

If you honor any of these requests, the next ask for money will only get larger.

They will play on your sympathy and good heart to try to get you to part with your money.

Trust your gut.

If there’s even a small part of you that thinks it may be a scam, it probably is.

These are the biggest signs that you are dealing with a scammer.

If the soldier you met online sounds similar, cut communication.

Then, check out this article about what to do if you are involved in a scam.

If you have questions about a situation you’re in with a soldier you met online, reach out to me.

signs of a romance scam

15 thoughts on “7 Signs of a Military Romance Scam”

  1. The Nigerian scammers speak to eCh other in a slang there, called Pigin. I called out an 18 year old scammer. He admitted and apologized. I told him he could make it up to me by teaching me some Pigin. So everyone, here is some phrases for you to throw at them at the moment you know is right. Alaye Japa is I know youre a scammer. Nawaoo is OMG. Ayeee is hahaha. Then this phrase-boss you don dey pass Bandry. That means-hey, get back Jack! You’re violating my personal boundaries. Just say Alaye! And the asshole will freeze. It’s absolutely hilarious! They immediately stop talking or texting. Like a deer in the headlights! Then snap an instant photo of yourself and send it, like on IG with the camera. So they see who You really are . Cause it shocks them even more! Oh! And this one-omo iyami means F You scammer! The moment you say Alaye, they freeze. Then you say-Alaye Japa, nawaoo! Boss, you don dey pass Bandry. When they freeze, its a scammer. Finish it with Alaye! Omo iyami! Say all that and you’ll immediately flush the Nigerian scammer out in just a couple of minutes. They are something else too!most are extremely good hackers, so be very careful about what you reveal about yourself!!!

  2. I caught a cad(cat) phising. He “is an md in Syria!? He dropped the ball when he said he was from Miami but his profile said Albany NY. Red flag #1
    Red # 2 Grammatic errors become more prominent the more he wrote.
    Red flag #3 He called me dear
    Red Flag #4 He asked me where i am from, when clearly I wrote this info to his please respond request. I then looked up for more info about this fake identity and found this poor innocent man’s photos being used to lure unsuspecting people.
    There are so many scammers out there so stay alert and look for signs.

  3. By Stacey,

    I’m a single mother of two young little boys who’s trying to rebuild a life for the three of us after leaving my ex husband for domestic abuse/violence when I was pregnant with my second son.
    I’ve been contacted by a man named Kelvin Patrick on Facebook last May and we’ve started to chat on June 03.
    He said that is a 1Sg and he’s in charge of IT and currently deployed in Sirya.
    His story: he lost both of his parents and sister. His daughter is with a nanny while is overseas.
    Four days after we started to chat on FB, he asked me to switch on Google chat .
    Less than 10 days after we’ve started to chat, he asked me for an Apple gift card.
    Then 2 days later his daughter was sick and he needs money for medicines and he couldn’t access his account.
    Long story short, when I oblige, he then brought up the fact that he needed me to pay for him to be able to go home, get his things in order for his daughter and to come visit me in Canada.
    I’m the sole provider for my kids, trying to make ends meet with my little disability pension for my PTSD and my little Home chef business. I had to start from zero because my ex husband kept all my possessions that I’ve worked for the last 15 years of my life.
    All my family lives in Europe and the only people I have are women from the shelter I’ve stayed in touch with and people from my church.
    He didn’t want me to talk about us to anyone until I quote:”He put a ring on it and makes it official”.
    He asked me to communicate with his CSM about taking an agreement for an instalment plan for a leave of absence and request 15K from me, asking to get a loan and borrow the money from my people.
    He pretend that he wasn’t allowed to call me or video chat with me because we’re married and can’t use Facebook Messenger for safety reasons.
    I’ve been through hell already and I don’t want to end up destroyed by an other trickster.
    Would you please help me figure out this situation I’m into?
    My boys only have me and I don’t want to get involved into anything that might put them at risk.
    This whole thing is robbing me from my peace and skyrocketing my anxiety which triggers my PTSD symptoms and my asthma constantly these last few weeks.
    I can’t take the pressure of him constantly asking for money when I told him that I’m struggling making ends meet and care for my own family.
    Thank you in advance for your help and stay blessed.
    Best regards,
    Amy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *