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Are You Dating an Army Soldier or a Fake?

If you don’t want to read the rest of this article, there is one surefire way to know if your soldier is fake:

If a soldier you’re “dating” online asks you for money for ANY reason, it’s a scam. Period. End of story. [Click to tweet this]

And as my husband says….If you have to ask, it’s a scam.

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UPDATE: Two women were prosecuted for receiving over one million dollars from 374 people in these scams! Story here.

Since starting the website in 2004, I have received many emails from people who believe they are dating a soldier when, in most cases, they actually are not. Nine times out of ten, they “met” their soldier on a social networking site, such as Facebook, or an online dating site. And he is the one who just happened to find her while he was looking around and decided she’s going to be his future wife. What he really means is she’s going to be his next victim.

If this article helps you or has kept you from becoming the victim of a scam (or sending him even more money), please consider donating to help maintain this website so that others will be able to utilize this information as well. Thank you!

soldier-dating-scam

Stories That Are Lies

He’s in Special Operations

1. He is in a special operations unit and therefore cannot share any information with you. It’s true that special ops guys can’t discuss their job but that also means they don’t tell random strangers they’re in special ops. My husband was special ops. When we would go out with a bunch of guys from his unit and people would ask what they did, they simply replied they were in the Army. Special ops guys don’t brag about it. They’re known as “quiet professionals” for a reason.

He’s Been Denied Leave

2. He has been deployed for two years, has been denied leave time and will not be coming home any time soon therefore you won’t be able to meet. If there were soldiers being denied leave after being overseas for years at a time, it would be ALL over the news. It’s a lie.

He’s on a Top Secret Mission

3. He is on a top secret mission in a country other than Iraq or Afghanistan (or even in Iraq or Afghanistan – it’s all lies). Now, we certainly do have troops in other countries. However, they don’t talk about it and they certainly don’t tell you they are on a “top secret mission”. Also, any special operations soldier worth his beret will not reveal his location to someone he doesn’t know (or even someone he does!).

He Needs Permission from Someone in His Unit

4. He says he is not allowed to talk about what he does, however, he has cleared it with his CO that he can tell you enough to make you believe he is who he says. This is followed by outrageous lies. If he truly is not allowed to share any details about his job, his CO doesn’t even allow him to talk about it with family, much less someone he met on the internet. Sometimes with this tactic, they will ask you to email/send mail to the CO to ask for permission. Then the supposed CO sends back a letter asking for money to connect a phone line or some other complete lie.

Everyone Around Him is Dead

5. He says one of the following….his parents died, his wife died in his arms, his wife was killed in a car accident along with all of his children, his children are orphaned and living in some remote location, or he was orphaned……all LIES. My favorite is when they combine all these things. Really? I know some very unlucky people but this is just over the top. And I mean if this was for real and that kind of luck follows him, why do you want to be with him?

He Has No Mailing Address

6. He says he doesn’t have a mailing address because either he is in a classified unit or his position changes so often. Even in special operations, he’ll have an APO address. And this is not a post office box and it’s not in Nigeria!! It also has nothing to do with a Western Union office. And you don’t have to send it through a relative because he can’t give out his address.

He Needs Money for Leave

7. He says he needs you to pay for his R&R leave because the Army doesn’t pay for it. This is absolutely false! A real soldier will not request money to travel home as he doesn’t need it! The Army pays for all travel to and from a war zone. This includes emergency travel like the death of a loved one. It’s not like you just book your own flight home from Afghanistan on Delta.

He Needs You to Request His Leave

8. He says he can come home but you have to request his leave through an email address. If all an Army spouse had to do was email her soldier’s commander to get him home from deployment, don’t you think ALL Army spouses would be doing this? There would be no one deployed. The Army does not allow leave requests from Army family members. In fact, even in the case of the death of an immediate family member, the information has to be verified by the American Red Cross before the soldier’s command is contacted for possible leave by officials at the Red Cross – they don’t just take your word for it.

He Needs You to Pay for a Phone Line

9. He wants you to pay for a phone line, cell phone or calling card so you can talk to each other. Real soldiers can call home for FREE. My husband deployed multiple times and we never paid for a single phone call. If he asks for this, he’s a scam artist. Not to mention, soldiers are making enough to buy a phone card if they really had to.

He’s About to Retire

10. He’s about to retire and then he can marry you and live happily ever after. This usually also includes stories about being a higher ranking officer. Typical story and it’s all lies. Real officers have even LESS time to be online talking to strangers over the internet.

His Child Needs XYZ

11. He has a child that is dying or needs surgery (or some other medical emergency) and he needs the money to pay for it. All military dependents are covered by Tricare, which for the most part is amazing insurance. I had a c-section and was in the hospital in a private room for three days. Know how much I paid? $12. Real soldiers aren’t paying out of pocket for their kid’s medical care.

He’s a General

12. And he’s only 28! Wow, talk about a quick advancement! LOL A General will have well over 20 years of service and less than 1% of officers will make it to the rank of General. On top of that, Generals make a minimum of $12,000 per month in JUST base pay. So why exactly would he need money from you?

His Pay is Deposited in the U.S. and He Has No Access

13. Seriously? First, the Army is providing the essentials while you’re deployed so there’s not a need for a lot of money overseas. Second, you can have access to your money, so this is yet another lie. There are ATMs on any main post and the PX accepts debit and credit cards. If he says he’s somewhere that there isn’t an ATM or another way to get money, there is also nothing for him to spend money on. So why does he need it?

He’s On a Peacekeeping Mission in {insert name of country}

14. Last time I checked we aren’t on a lot of peacekeeping missions in Nigeria and Syria. And if we were, a real soldier wouldn’t tell you that.

Verify The Truth

So how can you find out if he’s telling the truth?

The absolute best way to verify is with #2 – ask him to email you from his Army email address.

  1. Ask him to give you his Army email address rather than his yahoo, hotmail, etc. This will be his firstname.lastname@mail.mil. All soldiers have an Army email account. There is NO reason why he can’t provide it – regardless of what unit he is assigned to, what his mission may be, who he’s working for, etc. And the Army email account is free so him saying his credit card hasn’t been processed or his account is locked because he didn’t pay is also a lie. If he refuses to provide this, he’s fake.

I originally had other questions you could ask regarding his training, etc, but I’m removing those because many people believed whatever ridiculous information he came up with when they asked.

But you say he’s sent you pictures or a copy of his ID?

Many have been provided pictures, copies of military identification cards, even videos. First, pictures can be grabbed from anywhere on the internet – there’s no guarantee you’re talking to that person. They may very well be using the picture of a real soldier but that doesn’t mean you’re talking to him. Some of these scumbags are using the pictures of soldiers who were killed in action to run their scams. It’s sick.

Someone told me once they were dating a General and she even had pictures. I told her to send them to me. Guess who the pictures were of? David Petraeus!

Some use totally fake pictures in uniforms that are all messed up – I’ve seen Army uniforms with Air Force tapes and Navy insignia – no joke.

I’ve seen very badly doctored military ID cards where it’s obvious he’s typed over information on the card. What’s funny is he’ll type over the only legitimate information on the card and replace it with something that makes no sense. Such as rank of SPC and pay grade of MAJ.

The pictures they use many times on military IDs are so fake and it’s so obvious. Real military ID pictures basically look like a mugshot – solid background with him in uniform and basically only showing his face (maybe the very top of his shoulders). Someone sent me one the other day that not only looked nothing like a military ID (more like a business card for a recruiter), it had a picture of a soldier who was obviously at a military ball or some other formal event as he had a bow tie with his dress uniform. That is NOT an ID picture.

Or maybe he’s added you on Facebook and even changed his relationship status to you

The Army posted this example on their Facebook page:

scam-soldier

So exactly which one are you dating? Oh and by the way, I’ve never seen a soldier unless it was on an official page (such as the base commander’s page) that uses his rank in his name.

Soldiers Don’t Have Time For This

99.9% of military guys overseas don’t have the time available to them to email, chat and Skype for hours at a time or even every day online. They are too busy doing their JOB. And most have no interest in “dating” someone online while they’re deployed. Continuing to talk to their loved one that they knew before deployment? Absolutely! Time to peruse dating sites and chat for hours? Absolutely not.

But he said he loves you and wants to marry you….even though you “met” last week

I’m assuming if you’re falling for this, you’ve never been in a military town. Go downtown in a military town to a club one night and let me know how many single soldiers are there looking for the love of their life….not exactly what their goal is. And when you’re thousands of miles away from each other, he doesn’t have the opportunity to sleep with you. So the point would be???

Many of these stories contain comments about him saying he loves you within a few days/weeks of starting to talk or he wants to marry you as soon as he returns. Let’s get this straight – you haven’t met and certainly haven’t had the opportunity to have any kind of physical relationship, yet he wants to marry you? Does this sound feasible to you? If you’re even hesitating on the answer, I’ll help you. It’s not. They’re lying so they can get in your wallet. And they’re doing this to many others at the same time they’re doing it to you. It’s just who is going to open up access to their bank account first.

But you asked him if he was a scammer and he said no!

Come on, think about this! Why would he admit it to you? Or even better, he told you he is in fact a scammer but he REALLY loves you…..as long as you keep sending him money.

He hasn’t asked for money yet though

Don’t worry, he will. If any of the above signs sound familiar, it’s only a matter of time. He may get pretty far into his story before he asks. He may wait until his plane is suppose to leave and you’re meeting him in less than 24 hours. Then all of the sudden disaster strikes and he needs three grand to be able to come home. LIES!

Even though he’s doing these things, you still think he’s the real deal

I hate to be harsh but if any of the above sounds familiar, it’s a SCAM. Don’t sit there and think you’re the exception. You’re not the lucky one who’s encountered these signs but somehow your guy is the real deal. He’s FAKE. He doesn’t love you. He doesn’t want to marry you. And sooner or later, he’s going to ask for money.

I get emails and messages (or comments) from people who tell me the story and ask me if he’s fake. I answer yes, it’s a scam. And what do they do? Keep asking me more questions – but he does this or he said this or he sent me these pictures. Guess what? The answer is still the same. It’s a scam. Go back and read the first line in bold at the top of this article. I don’t care if he asks you to mail him a penny – a real soldier will NOT ask you for money. A real soldier makes more overseas than he does when he’s home!!

The Scam Checklist

So let me sum this up:

  • If he’s asking for money for a phone line, it’s a scam.
  • If he’s asking for money for travel home, it’s a scam.
  • If he needs you to help him move money from one location to another, it’s a scam.
  • If he asks for your bank account information, it’s a scam.
  • If he wants you to wire money for ANY reason via Western Union (or similar service), it’s a scam.
  • If he asks you to email his command so he can come home, it’s a scam.
  • If he tells you to open a bank account or credit card for him, it’s a scam (and this one could get you into legal trouble!)

PLEASE quit sending these people money! If you’re just itching to give away your money, send it to me! haha After all, I’ve spent more hours than I can count updating this article with the latest techniques and answering questions here and elsewhere.

Finally, if you don’t believe me, please read this article from the Army – Soldier Scams

If this article helps you or has kept you from becoming the victim of a scam (or sending him even more money), please consider donating to help maintain this website so that others will be able to utilize this information as well. Thank you!


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About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 2492 comments… add one }
  • Carole phillips August 5, 2017, 4:20 pm

    Is there a john h. Smith. Sergeant in army. In w africa. Need to find out if scammer. Hes on facebook and kik. Has pages of girls with him as only friend. Im in tears wanting to know. Before this was going to be married. Any help appreciated. Ty

  • Ronda August 5, 2017, 10:23 pm

    I would like to know if a military man I’m talking to is real or fake his name is Dave Christopher Perkins he says he is a sergeant he is stationed in Monterey County California and that he has been in the military for 14yrs and he is a bomb specialist I paid for a fiance registration and soldier replacement help me

  • Lisa August 6, 2017, 7:33 am

    I would like to add that Lt Col David Berrios said he was with the 101st Airborne Division. This man no longer is texting me because he said his phone is shut off and wants me to pay $350 to have it turned back on, laying on a guilt trip that if I wanted us to communicate by texting rather than email that I would find a way to give him the money and that if I was really trying in this relationship that I would send him the money he asked for, he stated he has done everything he can and I do nothing. He said that his accounts were froze and he had no access to money and stated that you can not carry money on deployment. I did not send him any money and I told him that I would not send it. He sent me a email being verbally abusive which is something he has never done before. He is angry because I will not send him any money. He has asked me for $4650.00 and I have given him nothing and this is making him angry. I also found out that he is still active on Zoosk dating website and my friend found him on Match.com dating website. This man is a sweet talker when he wants something but if he doesn’t get it he blames everything on you and is mad because he is not getting his money. I usually email him on his personal account and I recently sent an email on his military account and he refuses to acknowledge the account. I come from a military family and we all agree this man is a scammer and he may be impersonating an officer.

  • Yvonne August 6, 2017, 2:57 pm

    Beware of a man calling himself Roberts Victor Stevenson who sends a friend invite on Facebook. He claims to be a Lieutenant General in the U.S.Army ( at 31 years old ? ) He will tell you he is a widower and his wife and daughter died in a house fire caused by a gas explosion 7 years ago. He claims not to have remarried or had a relationship with anyone since. He purports to be serving in Kabul Afghanistan. He is using the photo of a very good looking man who is Leslie Lanceley. I became suspicious right at the start as his English was terrible and he used none of the language an American would use.

  • Dawn August 6, 2017, 6:11 pm

    Hi! I believe I too am being scammed. The guys name is James Alvarez. He said he is a Sgt.in the Marines. First we were supposed to Skype but then he lost his phone in a incident (he’s stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan). So okay. We keep talking then he couldn’t Skype from his computer because he needed $50 to process a form to add me to his list. Then once he got that he needed another$50 to update the apps on his computer. Then when we were supposed to Skype again he got hurt. He said that he needs $200 to come home, if he doesn’t want to wait on a free plane ride. We don’t talk all day everyday. He even sent me a form saying that his leave was approved. I haven’t paid that $200 and I’m not going too either. But it just seems to real. And I’m not desperate nor am I looking for anything. I just want to warn other women because this is crazy….. He even has pictures of the guy when he was a kid and everything.

  • C August 6, 2017, 6:17 pm

    Unable to verify enlistment of
    Brant Dickey US ARMY need help to confirm & report scam.
    Thank you

    • Sandra August 12, 2017, 9:47 am

      I have a Steve Dickey, wife and son died in childbirth 9 years ago.

      Also sgt. Jon, orphan with no family. Both serving peace keeping missions in Syria

  • becky williams August 7, 2017, 2:53 pm

    Two months ago I’m at the sky on Facebook he said he is a sergeant his name is Henry J Smith and that he is in Iraq he has asked me for money not just once not twice it’s time he asked I will send it because the whole time I really thought he was telling me the truth I was really hoping for that about a month-and-a-half ago I received my back pay for my disability I have received over $14,000 has taken every bit of it to come home to pay for my passport to send his son some money so he can eat that he has adopted over there I even have a picture of him on a passport and a military ID I don’t know if it’s fake or not my mom is furious with me the money that I have received supposed to help us to get a new house but that didn’t happen because I don’t have no money anymore I don’t know what to do I really would love to get my money back but I know it probably will never happen I wish I wasn’t being stupid

  • Elizabeth Feathers August 7, 2017, 9:37 pm

    I was wondering if you could find out if Welch C Ham is over on Afghanistan.

  • borremans nicole August 9, 2017, 8:05 am

    I like to know if this man I am writing too is a real US soldier and not a bloody scammer.
    His name is ARMSTRONG BALLARD, he is from PEORIA CHICAGO, and was first in Syria and now in Kabul.
    He has good contacts with a Red Cross Doctor Franklin Edward. Need urgent some answers; because I have a very bad feeling about this. He said he is already 13 years in the army and has 4 to go.
    but since almost 4 days no more news.

  • Salona Walker August 10, 2017, 4:03 pm

    I met a guy n he said he is in the military n he is deployed in Syria I think. He just ask me to mandate apply for him to get a private phone so he can call n text me anytime. Is this a scan?

  • Jeanette Daye August 12, 2017, 3:56 pm

    I would like to know if this person is really with the army.He says he a been in the service for 20 years and getting ready to retire.Hesent a friend request from f/b. Lairs he s in peace keeping mission in Egypt I didn’t find any pkm there.sounds like a scamper to me

  • Shannon August 12, 2017, 6:27 pm

    So your article has been very helpful thank you. I just started talking to someone and asked the military email question. he gave me LeonGilleran@gmail.com. I told him I wanted to know his military email so he says let me get it from my commander. Another red flag. So he comes back with this email. Mccnet@usa.com.
    My question is, that isnt a military email either is it?
    His name is Donald Gill on facebook. and Leon Gilleran on email.

  • Angela August 12, 2017, 8:54 pm

    I’m getting over bering scared as well my guy was named Richard Miller General in Domacus and seat is I loved him very much my sister got involved told me he wascavfraud I’m still getting over him He told me I changed him he called me only once never asked fore money had one son and his wife died three years ago I have a dear friend who’s helping me threw this .I cry a lot I loved him I told him good by Yoda no Andrew.Richard Miller is his name

  • Kat Hillman August 12, 2017, 10:11 pm

    Hi your site was amazingly helpful. I had a soldier tick all your boxes so i told him to read your site then get back to me. Haha.you need a wall of pictures of these poor soldeirs dead or alive who their names are being used to scam people. Ots so very sad how many people get conned and give away money they need desperately for themselves. I have seen it alot on Dr Phil. Its just sickening. But ur site was amazing. As im reading im going tick that box and that box and that box. He pretty much did everything you said they would in a scam. I want to thankyou.
    My guy was called Anton Ross or the other way around. He seemed a bit confused about that. He even had another “soldier” tell me how amazing he was but just with a bit of google search it wasnt hard to debunk what he was saying. The other guy was called Evens Millingan.so if these names come up with someone else he will say he has nearly 2 million to retire with but has to get out quick cause he has been court Marshalled for going AWOL where 5 soldiers ended up dying in a pub. So he needs to get out cause if he get dishonorably discharched he will loose his 2 million in benefits. Oh also he is an orphan. So if anyone else comes across either of these guys you can let them know they are working as a team asking for money for a flight home and to pay for his phone and legal fees. I hope this helps anyone in the future so they dont loose their hard earned money to these guys. I just think it is so awful that they are taking the faces and names of true heros. Its criminal.
    Again thankyou for your site.
    Kindest Regards Kat

  • Linda rios August 12, 2017, 10:24 pm

    There is a man out there on perfect farmers.com call Jeff Rodgers he sent me pictures of him then he told me to call him so I spoke to him twice then he said he was deployed to Syria we were texting for two months before he told me that his computer was smashed in his way there he gave me an apo and I was ready to send it then he gave me an address of someone out of stTe I send a 490,00 computer we continued to communicate he then told me he found a safe with diamonds in it 2000.00 cash and guns that they buried he wanted me to keep the safe for him until he got home so I agreed then he had his diplomat named Marc apps video me on hangout I saw him in uniform and he saw me then we were to meet with this safe when he got to the states well 2? Days later Marc emailed me and said he was stuck in some country incustons and needed 9000.00 to get this safe out of customs and be able to fly to JFK to bring it to me I said no I didn’t have that money I email Jeff with a letter telling him what an evil human being he was and also to Marc whom I saw on live video on hangout I think this whole thing is a scam please watch out on harmony and farmers.com websites for. Jeff Rodgers
    He even sent me a picture of him not in uniform with a fed ex box saying he got the computer in this box this is so sick and twisted beyond belief he broke my heart I’m over it so sad

  • Dolores August 13, 2017, 8:45 pm

    Had a man get ahold of me name Sergeant Brian Staggs is what he said from Apple Ville Mississippi station and Afghanistan I fell for everything that he had the say been talking to him for 5 months he’s asked for a little bit of money here and there thanks to this site I think I have discovered he’s a scam I wish I would have found this site before now I would know went out $1,300 but at least I know now.

  • Tina Case August 15, 2017, 5:40 pm

    Would like to find out if Daniel Hudson Robles is real .He has not asked for any money says its his 4 tour in Afghanistan he has 2 kids mother died. No phone no apo addresses. But he knows my son did 2 tours and im always asking the time and weather he knows im checking everything he says so im not sure but dont plan on sending any money.He says he be out in Oct.

  • Lori August 16, 2017, 10:20 pm

    Hello, I have been searching wether if Henry Allen who said he is solider and captain of Sniper and say he is in Peace Keeping in Turkey. I don’t know if this is true. He even told me to please don’t tell anyone about us I just feel something not right. He mentioned to me he lost a wife sbd 2 sons 3 years ago. He sent me a lot of pictures of himself I don’t know if that is real of him. Please help me if he is real or not..

  • Lori Baker August 16, 2017, 10:27 pm

    I forgot to add. He found me thru Flirt Cafe online dating then we text each other for little while then chat on Hang Out. I ask him if I could FaceTime or Skype he say cannot do because of high security secure reason and is in camp. Flirt Cafe online dating is no longer in service. I wish I could post the picture here. I couldn’t track him on Facebook or any infirnation online. His email he gave me is meekmilley321@gmail.com. I couldn’t find anything about him.. please help me it will be most appreciated.

  • MaKenzie August 16, 2017, 11:20 pm

    I have been talking to Corey West. Messaged me on Instagram July 30th. He is From Oklahoma and is supposedly stationed in Nigeria left for mission august 2nd. He told me his wife died in an accident didn’t go in details as to what happened. August 4th he started asking he to send him a $50 iTunes gift card. (So he didn’t lose connection and we would still be able to talk) Which I didn’t send, didn’t have the extra cash, that same day he messaged my mom on instagram wanting to be friends, he didn’t know it was my mom it was just a coincidence. Then yesterday, he brought up that he wanted me to buy him an iPhone,so he could call me, I told him I couldn’t do it. Then mentioned him being scammer and he got defensive saying he didn’t know what a scammer was. So I found this site by searching on google and screenshot several different parts and sent it to him on kik and he didn’t believe anything I had sent him and he hasn’t asked me for money. Now I have been blocked on Instagram and kik.

  • EA August 17, 2017, 3:31 am

    Beware of scumbag calling himself US Army Staff Sgt. Larry Hunter Webb serving as UN Peacekeeper in Syria at Camp Jordan. He gave me a photo of a fake military ID and fake diplomatic contact for his very expensive care he wanted. He used richardeliveries20@gmail.com and his email larryhunter473@yahoo.com. All fakes. He wanted home to send him 2 unlocked cell phones and a bunch of expensive care package items. I never sent anything to him because his whole story sounded like BS. He would text all hours of the day for long periods of time. I know people in the real military and they don’t have that kind of free time. Anyway, “he” was a troll stopped dead in his tracks. When confronted with all the errors on his Photoshopped military ID, he was belligerent. He, she, it it was busted! This website was very accurate to all the criteria of a scam. Dead wife, dead child yet shared pics of him with his child, he was only child of his parents who are also dead. It’s people like this who need a good punch in the face for stealing true valor and wasting people’s time! Beware of scumbag calling himself US Army Staff Sgt. Larry Hunter Webb serving as UN Peacekeeper in Syria at Camp Jordan. He gave me a photo of a fake military ID and fake diplomatic contact for his very expensive care he wanted. He used richardeliveries20@gmail.com and his was larryhunter473@yahoo.com. All fakes. He wanted home to send him 2 unlocked cell phones and a bunch of expensive care package items. I never sent anything to him because his whole story sounded like BS. He would text all hours of the day for long periods of time. I know people in the real military and they don’t have that kind of free time. Anyway, “he” was a troll stopped dead in his tracks. When confronted with all the errors on his Photoshopped military ID, he was belligerent. He, she, it it was busted! This website was very accurate to all the criteria of a scam. Dead wife, dead child yet shared pics of him with his child, he was only child of his parents who are also dead. It’s people like this who need a good punch in face for stealing true valor and wasting people’s time!

  • christina hagerman August 17, 2017, 5:50 pm

    is john mark allen a real soiler in the army ?

  • Ruah August 17, 2017, 6:42 pm

    How and were do i go to find out if i am being scamed

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