On Facebook and Instagram, there are lottery scams , celebrity impostors and even fake Mark Zuckerbergs. There is also a scheme where scammers pose as American service members to cheat vulnerable women out of their savings. To find victims, they search Facebook groups for targets — often single women and widows — and then message hundreds, hoping to hook a few. Once they have a potential mark, the scammers shift the conversations with their victims to Google Hangouts or WhatsApp, messaging services owned by Google and Facebook, in case Facebook deletes their accounts. For months or weeks, they try to seduce the women with sweet talk and promises of a future together. Eventually, they ask for money.
If you feel you have been scammed by a person claiming to be a U. Army CID is warning anyone who is involved in online dating to proceed with caution when corresponding with persons claiming to be U. Soldiers currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria or elsewhere. Army CID receives hundreds of allegations a month from victims who state they got involved in an online relationship with someone, on a legitimate dating website or other social media website, who claims to be a U. The "Soldier" then begins asking for money for various FALSE , service-related needs such as transportation costs, communication fees, marriage, processing and medical fees.
Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim's heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal. What's especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U.
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