SCARS™ Special Report: How Social Media Scams Are Affecting The U.S. Military

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Special Report: How Social Media ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Are Affecting The U.S. Military

You Have To Be Cautious About Everything You Do Online!

Scammers are always trying to get money, goods or services out of unsuspecting people — and military members are often targets.

 

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Here are some scams that have recently been affecting service members, Defense Department employees and their families.

Romance Scams

In April, Army CriminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams in which online predators go on dating sites claiming to be deployed active-duty soldiers. It’s a problem that’s affecting all branches of service — not just the Army.

U.S. Army CID said “there have been hundreds of claims each month from people who said they’ve been scammed on legitimate dating appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. and social media sites. According to the alleged victims, the scammers have asked for money for fake service-related needs such as transportation, communications fees, processing and medical fees — even marriage.”

CID said “many of the victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars and likely won’t get that money back.”

Remember: Service members and government employees DO NOT PAY to go on leave, have their personal effects sent home or fly back to the U.S. from an overseas assignment. Scammers will sometimes provide false paperwork to make their case, but real service members make their own requests for time off. Also, any official military or government emails will end in .mil or .gov — not .com — so be suspicious if you get a message claiming to be from the military or government that doesn’t have one of those addresses.

If you’re worried about being scammed, know what red flags to look for. If you think you’ve been a victim, contact the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission.

U.S. Department of Defense [DOD] officials said “task forces are working to deal with the growing problem, but the scammers are often from African nations and are using cyber cafes with untraceable email addresses, then routing their accounts across the world to make them incredibly difficult to trace. So be vigilant!”

Sextortion

Sexual extortion — known as “sextortion” — is when a service member is seduced into sexual activities online that are unknowingly recorded and used against them for money or goods. Often, if a victim caves on a demand, the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. will just likely demand more.

Service members are attractive targets for these scammers for a few reasons:

  • They’re often young men who are away from home and have an online presence.
  • They have a steady income and are often more financially stable than civilians.
  • Because of their careers, they’re held to a higher standard of conduct.
  • Military members have security clearances and know things that might be of interest to adversaries.

To avoid falling victim to sextortion, don’t post or exchange compromising photos or videos with ANYONE online, and make sure your social media privacy settings limit the information outsiders can see — this includes advertising your affiliation with the military or government. Be careful when you’re communicating with anyone you don’t personally know online, and trust your instincts.

IF PEOPLE SEEM SUSPICIOUS, STOP COMMUNICATING WITH THEM. 

DOD officials said  “sextortion often goes unreported because many victims are embarrassed they fell for it. But it happens worldwide and across all ranks and services.”

Here’s what you should do about it if it happens to you:

  • Stop communicating with the scammer.
  • Contact your police and your local CID office if you are in the Army.
  • Do NOT pay the perpetrator.
  • Save all communications you had with that person.
  • Report the scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. on www.Anyscam.com or here on this website (see menu).

Service Member ImpersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. Scams

Scammers love to impersonate people of authority, and that includes service members.

These people often steal the identity or profile images of a service member and use them to ask for money or make claims that involve the sale of vehicles, house rentals or other big-ticket items.

These scammers often send the victim bogus information about the advertised product and ask for a wire transfer through a third party to finish the purchase, but there’s no product at the end of the transaction.

For years, fake profiles of high-ranking American military officials have been popping up on social media websites using photos and biographical information obtained from the internet.

Scammers often replicate recent social media posts from official DOD or Military Personnel accounts and interact with official accounts to increase the appearance of legitimacy. As an example, there are impersonator accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These accounts are also interacting with Joint Staff account followers in an effort to gain trust and elicit information.

The only Joint Staff leader with an official social media presence is Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, who is listed as @SEAC.JCSon Facebook and @SEAC_Troxell on Twitter.

Scammers are making these profiles in the millions to defraud potential victims.

They claim to be high-ranking or well-placed government/military officials or the surviving spouse of former government leaders, then they promise big profits in exchange for help in moving large sums of money, oil or some other commodity. They offer to transfer significant amounts of money into the victim’s bank account in exchange for a small fee. Scammers that receive payment are never heard from again.

Here are some ways to lower the chances of you being impersonated or duped by a scammer:

  • To avoid having your personal data and photos stolen from your social media pages, limit the details you provide on them and don’t post photos that include your name tag, unit patchPatch A software program update that corrects known bugs or problems, or adds new features to a software program already installed on your computer. and rank.
  • If an alleged official messages you with a request or demand, look closely at their social media page. Often, official accounts will be verified, meaning they have a blue circle with a checkmark right beside their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram name. General and flag officers will not message anyone directly requesting to connect or asking for money.
  • If you are Military or Ex-Military search for yourself online — both your name and images you’ve posted — to see if someone else is trying to use your identity.
  • If you do find a false profile, contact that social media platform and report it and also report it on www.Anyscam.com which lets the world know you have been impersonated.

 

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

 

SCARS™ Team
A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

 

TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams Affect The U.S. Military, Military Scam Victims, Fake Soldiers, Military Impersonation Scams, United States Military

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« Scams Discussion Forum on Facebook »


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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBI « www.IC3.gov »
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network « HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: « www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information »

 

To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »

Please be sure to report all scammers
« HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »

 

 

Legal Notices: 

All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2020 SCARS All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.

SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS., Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support GroupSupport Group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated.

Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org

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4 Comments

  1. Dawn Mccarrick August 29, 2019 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Hi the message should of read I have reported to different websites and agents and had no reply from any of them I have not sent any to you untill today so sorry for the confusion

    • Unfortunately no one has the time or resources to follow up on every scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. reported. The strategy is not to hunt down individual scammers but to work on a larger scale to shut down whole gangsGangs A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. at a time. We are connected to both the EFCCEFCC Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

      The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (419 fraud), scams, and money laundering. The EFCC was established in 2003, partially in response to pressure from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which named Nigeria as one of 23 countries non-cooperative in the international community's efforts to fight money laundering. The agency has its head office in Abuja, Nigeria. in Nigeria and the Ghana Police Service on a regular basis. You have seen that Nigeria is arresting over 100 per week new and has been consistent all year. Over 4,000 scammers have been arrested this year so far. Ghana is not so good, but they are not yet as well organized as the Nigerians, but they are making progress now that the Trump Administration and Banks are imposing sanctions.

      Every report matters because it fills in needed background information and helps everyone understand how massive the problem is, but real progress has been made in the last two years!

  2. Dawn Mccarrick August 29, 2019 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Wrote a number of letters and had no reply to any been scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. by a guy claiming to be a us soldiers in Afghanistan

    • Sorry, we cannot respond to all emails that are just reporting scammers. We are a nonprofit and focus our energies where we can.

      If you want to report a scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer., please do it properly on our website or on http://www.Anyscam.com. Also, if you lost money report it to your local police and the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. on http://www.IC3.gov

      We also advise you to join our educational group on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/SCARS.Avoidance.Information.Public.Group/

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