Scammers are increasingly creating fake profiles on social media and dating websites, pretending to be Soldiers. Army Criminal Investigation Command are once again warning the American public, as well as citizens from other nations, to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to Internet scams or impersonation fraud — especially scams that promise true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts. CID continues to receive hundreds of reports of various scams involving persons pretending to be U. The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with an American Soldier, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away. The criminals are pretending to be U. The perpetrators will often take the true rank and name of a U.
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. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency.
The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.
The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable. The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is “I can’t believe I was so stupid! The Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable. The Nigerians call them ‘maghas’ which is slang for gullible white people. The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim’s replies.
They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers!
Military has added a new line to our defense budget: Internet dating scam prevention. By posing as troops stationed in countries like Iraq or Afghanistan, these scammers profess their undying love to hapless consumers on internet dating sites, the Daily Finance’s Loren Berlin reported.
The BBB outlines several tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim of military scams:
VB Summit Oct 23 – 24 Dabble in online dating? It turns out that the crippling fear of an awkward first date is the least of your troubles. The scam typically works like this: A con artist, usually based in an Internet cafe overseas, will lift a photo from Facebook or another social networking site. They will painstakingly craft a fake profile and begin targeting people that are looking for love. He or she will begin the courtship process by sending letters and love poems for a period of weeks and finally offer to fly to meet their victim.
Within hours of the expected arrival time, an emergency will strike: In many cases, scammers will choose to use pictures of military personnel. After discovering that his headshot consistently showed in hoax dating profiles thanks to a Google alert , Army Master Sgt. However, on smaller or niche dating sites like christiandatingforfree. The lesson here is that online dating startups will need to step up their game to keep consumers safe.
The goal is to catch them 35 percent faster. Here are some expert tips on avoiding scams from Cupid.
The New Military Dating Scam
Verified Reviewer Original review: Heck, even I know better! Now, for some reason I can’t access the Mingle site I knew it was a scam but I baited them and they took the bait. I used to work in fraud investigation.
They are often told to keep some of the money for their trouble [which helps to build trust and also helps make them an accessory to the crime!
Piskunova Street 28, Gorodets, , Russia"Hello my darling. I just got your letter and I have realized that I am falling Please, please, don’t tell not wight away. I do love you and I will not survive if I loose chance to be together. Forgive my unexperience, I had to find out everything before acting but it is too late now.. I had to come in Moscow and find out before signing contract..
I investment so much money in this process and I will loose them. I put close to US dollars in visa process. This is so much money for me and I decided to spend them because I love you and you are much more important for me then any money. It is Moscow and life is very expensive here.
Text scams: The messages that allow criminals to break into your iPhone, and how to spot them
Monday 6 June Increasingly, SMS messages are being used as a way of duping people into giving up their online accounts, and out of their identities and their money. Many of those messages arrive looking perfectly innocent, and even useful. One of the major problems with such scams is that it is now relatively easy to pretend to be someone else, over text.
Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, continues to receive hundreds of reports from people worldwide of various scams involving persons pretending to be U.
The price is too good to be true for good reason: Getty Images Rental Rip-Offs Stealing photos and descriptions of properties for sale on real estate websites or inventing their own , swindlers advertise bogus rentals. In addition to lost payments, would-be renters risk identity theft from disclosures they may provide on fake application forms. Getty Images Phone Call Phishing In unexpected phone calls and occasional at-home visits, older vets are the usual targets of con artists who pose as employees of the Veterans Affairs Department or other assistance agencies.
Aiming to glean personal or financial information, these impostors claim a need to confirm or update records or may cite supposed policy changes for dispensing drugs or receiving benefits. As with other federal agencies, expect official VA information to be mailed, not delivered by unsolicited phone calls. Getty Images Romance Rip-Offs To steal hearts and money, fraudsters frequently pose on dating websites as military personnel deployed overseas — a fake identity so commonly used that the U.
Army receives hundreds of complaints per month from victims.
Online daters, be warned! 1 in 10 profiles are scams, report reveals
September 26, Credit: Getty Images Behind the headlines about online romance scams victimizing older women and men lie true stories with real victims and perpetrators. A recent case in point:
He advised that he was in the military stationed overseas.
For others, however, it can be a life-ruining decision — leaving us penniless, heartbroken and with many more problems heading our way. The only way to avoid an online romance scam is to be aware of their occurrences and also to know how to spot them before they begin. When you start talking to someone on the internet, pay particular attention to the messages that they are sending. Are the messages answering the questions that you are asking or are they just generic messages that could be sent to anyone with just one minor change for each — the name?
Prolific romance scam artists will generally use the same messages for everyone that they are trying to lure in as victims so if the messages are too general for your liking, back away as fast as you can. They are so generic that you can often find much of what they write by searching on Google. Even on profiles, the text can be copied and pasted from that found on other dating sites. Consider the language the person is using. Poor English can be a red flag signal for you to at least be more circumspect until you know more about this person.
Dating & romance
Spear phishing[ edit ] Phishing attempts directed at specific individuals or companies have been termed spear phishing. They attacked more than 1, Google accounts and implemented accounts-google. The attachment or link within the email is replaced with a malicious version and then sent from an email address spoofed to appear to come from the original sender.
The advice is the same as traditional phishing:
David Petraeus, commander of U. Service members are targeted by websites that claim to offer special military discounts on everything from cars to apartments for rent. But the low-priced car never arrives and the easy-to-find apartment they’ve rented is already occupied. Similarly, scammers are profiting off of U. Army criminal investigators, said. In the past year there has been a surge of criminals posing as military members on online dating sites, forming relationships with women and ultimately asking for money.
S Army Criminal Investigators Office becomes aware of an online military scam, they have to hand the case over to the country where the crime is committed, Grey said. These are the latest and most popular to hit the web. Scammers, usually out of Ghana or Nigeria steal identities of real soldiers on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace and pose as military members. Others create identities off of British military members.
After posting pictures and stories to popular dating sites, the scammers contact women.