Army reservists accused of $3 million-worth of romance and business scams

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It might start as a friendly introduction on Facebook. There are pictures of your friend in uniform. Somehow, things have gotten serious, but something still feels weird. The truth is, scam artists target the military community —either by stealing identities or targeting folks with military affinities. Military terminology and policies can be confusing and unfamiliar, so the target may be less likely to question the answers the scammer is giving. We know that some service members have a hard time making ends meet. Con artists will spend time cultivating a relationship that feels real—especially for you. While there are many legitimate online relationships, beware the person who never wants to meet in real life. Some scams can go on for a year or more while they bilk information and money from their mark. The pictures they send and the profiles will be doctored or made up.

Online love asking for money? It’s a scam.

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.

Armed Forces, a military contractor, a U. Embassy diplomat, or an employee of an international aid organization.

These scams can take a military angle with imposters stealing servicemembers’ photos to create Report your experience to the dating site and to the FTC. He has sent me pictures of his plane and a video of him flying it.

Your military friend or family member serves our country with integrity and honor. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who try to take advantage of that service to cheat them and you. You can help protect your service member against military scams by learning the warning signs of schemes that target those in the military community. Unfortunately, these scams prey on fears about the coronavirus disease, trying to trick service members and family members into revealing sensitive information or donating money to a fraudulent cause.

Bogus emails that look legitimate can offer fake alerts or information about the outbreak, fake workplace policy updates, or fake medical advice. By clicking on links in these emails, you could download malware or have your identity stolen. There are safety measures you can take to protect yourself: Avoid clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails. Use trusted sources such as legitimate government websites for information.

This Army Veteran Became The Face Of Military Romance Scams. Now He’s Fighting Back

Bryan Denny’s military photos are ubiquitous on scam social accounts. Fighting back has proven hard, even for the combat veteran. Recently retired after serving more than two and a half decades in the Army, including deploying as part of Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, Denny had expected to encounter some uncomfortable situations in his transition to civilian life.

But as they exchanged messages, he came to a more troubling realization: for several months, the woman had been in a full-fledged online relationship with a Col. Bryan Denny who, it just so happened, looked just like him.

Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media Never send money to someone claiming to be a Soldier!

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed?

More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact. They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.

Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come.

Military Dating Scams

Do you have questions about your vision health? After 26 years of service, U. Army Col.

Military romance scammers stole $ using Bryan Denny’s face. Now, the former U.S. soldier is fighting back against his ‘evil’ online.

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‘It’s been hell’: How fraudsters use handsome soldiers to prey on lonely hearts over the holidays

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.

Bryan Denny’s military photos are ubiquitous on scam social accounts. hold of his pictures, created a fake profile on a Canadian dating site.

Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim’s heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal.

What’s especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U. The scammers are exploiting people’s good intentions toward our men and women in uniform, and exploit their goodwill. Not only does this kind of fraud hurt the victim, but it damages the reputation of the United States Military member. Foreign victims often fall for the scam, and really do think a U.

Someone who pretends to be a sailor, soldier, airman, or Marine looking for love but really is looking for cash will count on you not investigating them too deeply. This is where you can get the upper hand. Here are a few cautionary measures to try and protect yourself against these scams if you decide to try to find love online.

These Social Media Scams Affect the Military

A warning that comes from the military. Photos of those serving are being hijacked off social media to fool victims of romance scams. A widow several years Ann thought she found love again only to have both her heart and bank account broken. Ann never met the dashing captain or so he claimed but she surrendered to his online charm.

There are pictures of your friend in uniform. The truth is, scam artists target the military community–either by stealing identities or targeting folks with military affinities. It’s not unusual for military couples to split the cost of dating or to choose.

A growing epidemic in the world today is the online romance scam. Generally, a victim is contacted by someone online through various social media or a legitimate dating website. The victim and the scammer create an online relationship. While the victim may become suspicious over time, the scammer lures them in with pictures, hardships, promises, excitement, and claims of love. Eventually, the scammer will ask for help, for various reasons, involving the victim sending money. After the scammer gets all the money they can from the victim, the scammer drops communication, leaving the victim dumbfounded, hurt, confused, and out of a lot of money, which is rarely recovered.

So, what can you do if you’ve found yourself in Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance? Army Criminal Investigation Command As the Army’s primary criminal investigative organization and DoD’s premier investigative organization, CID is responsible for conducting criminal investigations in which the Army is or may be a party of interest. E-mail Address to report information: info publicintelligence. Naval Criminal Investigative Service is the federal law enforcement agency charged with conducting investigations of felony-level offenses affecting the Navy and Marine Corps.

NCIS also performs investigations and operations aimed at identifying and neutralizing foreign intelligence, international terrorism, and cyber threats to the Department of the Navy. Air Force Office of Special Investigations is the federal law enforcement and investigative agency operating and conducting criminal investigations and providing counterintelligence services.

SCAM TRACKER: U.S. Army recruiters warn of possible text message scam


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