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SCARS™ Scam Basics: Military Impersonation Scams

Romance Scams Variation: Impersonation Of Military Personnel

A dominant technique romance scammers use is to impersonate American (90% of the time) military personnel.

Scammers prefer to use the images, names, and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their female victims.

Military public relations often post information on soldiers without mentioning their families or personal lives, so images are stolen from these websites by organized Internet crime gangs (scammer cartels) mostly operating out of Nigeria or Ghana or Ivory Coast.

These scammers tell their victims they are lonely, or supporting an orphanage with their own money, or needing financial assistance because they can not access their own money in a combat zone, etc. The most common variation of this is that they need money to “buy” leave to come to visit the victim.

U.S. Military Personnel Do Not Need Your Money – EVER!

The money is always sent to a third party to be collected for the scammer. Sometimes the third party is real, sometimes fictitious. Funds sent by Western Union and MoneyGram do not have to be claimed by showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret passphrase and response, or if the Money Transfer Agency has their own people working there. The money and can be picked up anywhere in the world.

More and more, scammers ask for iTunes or other gift cards or even request Bitcoin as an alternative payment method.

Learn More About How To Spot Military Scammers: