Military scams – $405m lost to scams targeting military and veterans since 2012

From midnight until dawn most days, Tracee Douglas sits in the garden of her Bundaberg home with her iPad in her lap, and her iPhone and cigarettes beside her. With only the knock-knock-knock of geckos for company, she scours the web for clinching evidence to convince women who are sending money to “soldiers” abroad that the men they love are fakes. She’s lost count of the number of scams she has stopped since setting up her private Facebook page, “Military Scams: The Fight Back”, but they’re likely to be in the thousands. A woman on a mission, Douglas tries to grab as much sleep as she can during the day – she gets by on a part-time job – shuttering her home against the harsh Queensland heat and glare. Douglas, 49, set up her Facebook page more than a year ago, after a friend bluntly told her she could either “lie down and die, or fight back”. It now has members, who track, trick and bait scammers. Some report fake military profiles to site administrators who remove them, but it’s a Sisyphean task. As soon as an imposter is removed, a new profile pops up minutes later with the same photograph and a new name, often contrived by changing a single letter. Still, Douglas’s switch from victim to vigilante has saved her sanity and her self-respect.

The Little Black Book of Scams

It could cost you your life. Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto was arrested in Kuala Lumpur Airport in , with more than 1kg of crystal methamphetamine sewn into her suitcase. Throughout her arrest and subsequent court case , she maintained that she was the victim of romance fraud.

Want to the military romance scammers on internet dating or documents used in the Read about online to conduct romance scams tripled between and.

It really wasn’t much of an exchange. Jared Johns had met a young woman on a dating site , swapped messages, and sent her a photo of himself in a baseball cap. She’d responded with one of herself, lying down in a lacy bra. Jared grinned as he typed out a message on his iPhone’s scuffed screen. They swapped a few more messages; she asked Jared how old he was and he told her he was Then he pocketed his phone and got on with his day.

That brief conversation turned out to be the worst mistake of Jared’s life. In their exchange, Jared sent a photo of himself in a baseball cap; in return, he got a photo of an attractive young woman. Jared had wanted to be a soldier ever since he was 7. That’s how old he was on September 11, , when he saw the Twin Towers collapse in smoke and fire on television and heard President George W.

Bush declare that America was under attack.

Military dating apps

June 25, — A mother and daughter in Colorado were indicted for their role in a “Nigerian internet romance scam” in which associates in Nigeria posed as members of the U. The Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers, said the two were part of a scam since that “lured unsuspecting women to internet dating sites by posing as members of the U. The Vasseurs’ victims over a three year period were based throughout the United States and from 40 other countries.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3 , a government organization that refers cyber crime complaints to law enforcement agencies, says people 40 and older who are divorced, widowed, or disabled are most likely to fall prey to online dating scams. The Vasseurs were indicted of 20 counts in violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, money laundering and theft in a page document filed by Suthers’ office.

Tracy Vasseur faces up to years in prison if convicted on all counts.

What It’s Like to Lose a Million Dollars to an Online Dating Scam now 60, who lost more than a million dollars to a scammer between and Lou and I had been in the military, and when we went off on temporary.

It is one of many techniques scammers use to exploit individuals for profit. Scams have been around since the dawn of civilization, and thanks to technology, they have grown in sophistication. Staff Sgt. Additionally, we are trusted members of society, are always moving and may be unfamiliar with an area. Robert Cook, 50th Space Wing safety office occupational safety noncommissioned officer in charge, said callers pretending to offer gifts and prizes, or money of any sort are to be considered suspicious.

Cook said the proactive approach towards preventing scam calls is to pay attention to the number of the person calling. Additionally, Cook recommends call blocking software to stem the tide of potential scam callers. The rise of online dating has led to military-centric scams that mislead others into thinking they are a real military member or civilian to try to solicit money, often referred to as lonely hearts schemes – schemes which use emotion and romance to lure victims.

According to the FBI, between and alone, online romance scams have tripled in frequency. The first sign of a scam is an online love interest who asks for money. Cook said to investigate the supposed individual to see if they are who they claim to be. Maldonado said false emails are another scam to watch out for. They often try to lure a user into following a link or submitting their information.

He said this technique, known as phishing, has become a prominent threat in recent years.

Scammers have stolen $405 million from military families since 2012, report finds

Home Archive World news. Australian and New Zealand authorities are investigating whether the identities of top military officers are being used in an international Facebook dating scam, officials said today. Australian Federal Police confirmed the existence of a fake profile of incoming Australian Defence Force chief Mark Binskin, with the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reporting that the page was used to befriend a woman in Germany and ask her for money. Anna Linden, from Aachen in western Germany, told the newspaper she received a message from a man posing as Binskin.

How to protect yourself against on line Dating Scammers The total number of On August 15, , the Better Business Bureau issued a warning that U.S. but traveling or working overseas, or to be a member of the military.

How May We Help You? Who Am I? Romance scams typically begin when a con artist creates a phony profile on a dating website or on social media to attract unsuspecting victims. Many times, con artists claim to be located in another state or country — pretending to be a military member stationed overseas or a businessman or -woman working in another country.

The scammer and the soon-to-be victim might spend countless hours communicating before the scammer asks for money — say, for airfare to visit, for hospital fees or other medical costs, to get out of a foreign country or to access an inheritance the scammer promises to share with the victim. Victims generally are asked to send money using a wire-transfer service, money order, prepaid card, gift card or other hard-to-trace payment method. Once the money is sent, it is nearly impossible to recover.

A Franklin County woman was the victim of a multi-year sweetheart scam with a man she had been in contact with by phone. She sent money to multiple people via FedEx, gave the scammer access to her credit card, and even cashed in stocks and bonds to send money to the scammer.

‘Sextortion’ scams continue to occur; don’t give into scammer’s demands

Bank and lender scams, romance scams, employment scams, benefits scams, identity theft scams. In terms of who sustained the most substantial losses, active-duty personnel and veterans of the U. The Army, of course, is the largest branch. The rest of the service-specific scams were counted as:. The most common schemes over the last seven years have been the fraudulent employment variety, the report said , which generally targeted newly discharged veterans looking for that much-desired first job as a civilian.

The scammers then inform the vet that he or she will be receiving a check to reimburse the amount spent on the nonexistent equipment — it bounces, of course.

First published by the Competition Bureau Canada and medical scams; Emergency scams; Dating and romance scams; Charity scams.

While plenty of successful relationships begin online, scammers also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to trick you into sending them money. These imposters create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. The first sign of a scam is an online love interest who asks for money. For Military Consumer Month, share this video to help military consumers steer clear of online romance scams.

I asked her for a photo of her new online love and when it arrived it was a photo of a retired military man that apparently they use over and over again. By the way So there are no boundaries with these scammers. I also feel as if I have fell victim of an online romance scam from Afganistan. He is a very smooth talker. Got me to go to hangouts and talk better.

He has got 6, He is a widow which I am too and has a son in London in school. He has a home in Chicago Il.

Army CID warns against romance scams

If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to reset your password. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. The online dating romance scam is an Advance Fee Fraud, typically conducted by international criminal groups via online dating sites and social networking sites. This study examined the psychological characteristics of romance scam victims by comparing romance scam victims with those who had never been scammed by MMFs.

Romance scam victims tend to be middle-aged, well-educated women.

Participants will learn to identify red flags in identifying a romance scam victim; Participants will Scammers are able to create false identities, fake pictures; Engineers/military for Dr. Whitty “The Psychology of the Online Dating Scam”

Raymond Chandler, former sergeant major of the Army, and his wife, Jeanne, who have been married for 13 years. His photo has been stolen many times from online sites and used in dating scams. She has tried to chase some down. It seems like such a simple recommendation, and yet it can be awfully hard to find this essential component of a happy and fulfilling life. We spend a lot of time searching for The One, the person who will love us as much as we love him or her. Dede not her real name , who lives in Montgomery County, Maryland, thought she’d found him once.

Hook, Line and Tinder: Scammers Love Dating Apps

As the number of dating sites and social media apps has gone up , so too has the number of romance scams reported — from 17, in , 11, in , and 8, in The Cut spoke to the victim of one such scam, Debby Montgomery Johnson, now 60, who lost more than a million dollars to a scammer between and How did you meet the man who would eventually scam you? My husband passed away suddenly in

Women are usually targeted by the military romance scams, since the in to end an affair with a younger woman he met on a dating site.

Subscriber Account active since. Derek Stahlhut, a divorced dad of one, said the site selected women for him that weren’t anywhere near his type and didn’t even like children. See 12 digital scams to watch out for. Because the contract he signed has a no-refund policy, he’ll likely never see that cash again. If only he’d checked out the site on the Better Business Bureau first, he would have seen its disgraceful ‘F’ rating. Posing as troops stationed in countries like Iraq or Afghanistan, scammers weasel their way straight into unwitting womens’ hearts — and their bank accounts.

The U. The BBB warns against online daters who say they’re constantly traveling overseas or never able to visit the U. This is often the bait they use to convince their state-side lovers to send money for “visa fees” or “medical emergencies” their traveler’s insurance won’t cover. Once they’ve convinced their online mate they’re committed, overseas scammers love pulling the sick card.

Military romance scams trick victims out of money