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. Impostor scams can run the gamut from fake employers to fraudsters impersonating authority figures.
‘It’s been hell’: How fraudsters use handsome soldiers to prey on lonely hearts over the holidays
You can help your service member guard against military scams by helping military group and contacts members or their spouses by phone, email or text. Scammers often post fake profiles on dating websites to attract service members.
Be on the lookout for some of these operations that have fooled more than one person into giving money, personal information, and worse. Below in the following section you will find descriptions of scams that have been used on military members and their families in the past. But no matter what kind of con artist you encounter, there are some similar things you should watch out for that can alert you to a scam.
Pay close attention anytime someone you do not know does any of the following online or in person:. The Spanish Prisoner scam is a very old confidence trick that has been updated for the 21 st Century. The old-school version of this con trick was done face-to-face in many cases, but today the scam is run by people using social media. Then, the scammer contacts these people who assume their Facebook or Twitter friend simply opened up a new account.
And that is because once you DO think about it, you may start to realize that there is something not quite right about the entire situation.
Romance Scams: The Email Threat That Breaks Hearts and Banks
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.
If you see something you think is a scam, you should avoid responding and report the scam to Instagram. Scams on Instagram happen when people create fake accounts or hack into existing Instagram accounts you’ve followed. The scammers use these fake or compromised accounts to trick you into giving them money or personal information. People asking you to send them money or gift cards to receive a loan, prize or other winnings. Anyone asking you to pay a fee in order to apply for a job.
Accounts representing large companies, organizations or public figures that are not verified. People claiming to be from Instagram security asking you to provide account information like your username or password , or offering you account verification services.
5 Ways to spot an online-dating scammer
Jane Watts became suspicious when the Army officer she friended on Facebook started asking for things. The Charlottesville resident, who had recently separated from her husband, accepted a friend request from a soldier named Jeff Galbraith. He seemed nice online, and it offered the chance to meet someone new. After two months, he asked for a care package to make life easier in Syria, where he was stationed. He wanted blankets, candy, a PS3, deodorant, a toothbrush and other things.
“We literally get hundreds of phone calls, daily, worldwide,” spokesman Grey has been battling military-romance scams for about six years.
The safety of our customers is of the utmost importance to us. LibertyX constantly monitors new scam and fraud tactics to find new ways to prevent any being used on our platform. Here are a few common scams being used by fraudsters, and red flags to look out for. Dating, Marriage, and Romance. Online Dating Apps and Websites. Overseas and Out of Country. Money Forwarding and Check Cashing. Payment for Goods or Services. Tech Support Scams. Time-sensitive and Emergency Situations.
Airport and Travel.
5 Things to Know About Military Romance Scams on Facebook
Recognize Me? The fake and real faces of scammers. Scam Haters United blog compiled photos of real scammers and the profiles they use to target people online.
Military personnel and their families are attractive targets for scam artists and It is illegal for companies to promise a loan or credit card over the phone and ask online dating scams involving someone pretending to be a U.S. soldier in the.
Since the large adoption of the internet, the online dating industry moved to set a new standard in the way we find our soulmates. And it worked. According to a study from the University of Chicago, compared to marriages between couples who meet in real life, marriages between couples whose relationships are formed through an online dating site are more likely to last. Unfortunately, with the rise of online dating services came the birth of romance scams.
Romance scams target wealthy women, sometimes widows, who are looking for a new relationship and men who are looking for extra-marital relationships. In most cases, the goal is to defraud the victim out of money. According to the FTC , victims between the ages of 40 and 69 were scammed at the highest rates, while victims aged 70 and above reported the biggest losses. After registering on a dating website, the victim meets a hacker impersonating a handsome man.
Most of the time, this man will have the same nationality as the victim. At the time of contact, he is on a business trip abroad, in the military, or, in the case of high-profile romance scam out of Australia, sailing. Written and audio messages will be exchanged between the scammer and their victim. Exchanges will intensify, often over a period of a few weeks or a few months—enough time for the victim to get emotionally attached.
The scammer reappears by sending an email asking for help, pretending they are stuck abroad without any ID, phone, or money. This is when the emotional scam closes in on the victim, who then transfers money via Western Union to help their soulmate.
Recognize Me? The fake and real faces of scammers
Today’s romance scams have a military flavor that you should learn they cannot meet in person or converse over the phone or video chat.
Attorney Craig Carpenito. The following details from this case were taken from court documents and statements:. The most common story used by Sarpong and his conspirators was that they were military personnel stationed in Syria who were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many of the victims their money would be reimbursed once the gold bars arrived in the United States. In one case, a conspirator claimed he was a U. He sent her a fictitious airway bill showing that two trunks with “family treasure” would be sent to her, along with a fake United Nations Identity Card that identified him as an Israeli citizen and UN delivery agent.
The next day she died by suicide. Authorities say Sarpong and his conspirators used various email accounts and Voice Over Internet protocol phone numbers to communicate with the victims and instruct them where to wire money. Authorities say the funds were then withdrawn in cash, wired to other domestic bank accounts and wired to conspirators in Ghana. According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Sarpong was active on social media and “bragged about his wealth.