With the internet being so easily accessible these days, millions of people turn to online dating sites or social media to find a potential love interest. Unfortunately, instead of finding love, many people are falling victim to online romance scams where unsuspecting people are giving away money to people who are pretending to be someone they’re not. More unfortunate, military romance scams involve military members being scammed or the scammers posing as members of the military and stealing their online identities.
Here is everything you need to know about who an online romance scammer is, what the red flags are of an online romance scam, and some tips to avoid falling for them in the future.
Who Is An Online Romance Scammer?
An online romance scammer is someone who creates a fake dating profile or social media account and targets people that are looking for love by striking up a relationship with them, only to take advantage of them later on by asking for money. The scammer will make up a fake story that requires money and asks their victims to send it to them. Some of these fake stories include things like, buying a plane ticket to come visit them, needing money for hospital or medical bills, visa fees, or other travel document fees.
Scammers will then get their victims to send them money via a wire transfer or through online gift cards such as Amazon. This type of payment will often allow them to stay anonymous and these transactions are almost always irreversible.
How To Spot The Signs Of A Military Online Romance Scam?
If you have met someone online that says they are a member of the military – an army soldier, a sailor, a marine, or an airman then it is very important to make sure their claims are legitimate. This is because more often than not an online romance scammer is someone who is claiming to be a member of the military. This is because it is easier for them to have an excuse to never meet up in person because they can say they are out of the country for military service work. It’s also easier for them to come up with an interesting story that makes people feel sorry for them and want to help them if they are requesting assistance.
Another tell-tale sign that someone you have met online is trying to scam you, is if they profess their love for you very quickly and try to ask you for your personal information. The scammer will then come up with a good story and ask you to send them money.
How To Avoid Being A Victim Of An Online Romance Scam?
In order to quickly find out if someone isn’t who they are claiming to be, you will need to do some of your own detective work. It is important to do your own research as a lot of the time scammers can provide fake “evidence” that they are from the military by sending you false documentation that looks very official.
One of the things you can do to make sure someone you have met online is who they say are, is by doing a reverse image search on Google using one of their pictures – if they are using a fake account then it is likely that their picture will be linked to other social media accounts with a different name.
More importantly, if you have any concerns that a potential love interest is trying to scam you online, never wire them money before meeting them in person. If you think someone is trying to scam you online then you should always report your experience to the online dating site or social media platform to have their account blocked, as well as to the relevant authorities like the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation.