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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

{ 2558 comments… add one }
  • Anteesha Murry September 1, 2017, 3:16 pm

    Hi I’m trying to find out if a US Army solider by the name of Murphy Raymond is real or fake. He hasn’t ask for any money but he says his wife passed away of breast cancer and he has a 5 year old daughter whom is deceased wife sister takes care of. He says his mother’s name is Amelia Walker I have other info he said about his father’s name. He says his daughters name is Jenny. If someone could help me identify if he is real or not I would greatly appreciate it. He suppose to be on a peace mission.

  • Lois N Kratzner September 1, 2017, 11:54 pm

    Excellent article. I have had many contacts with scammers and it just makes me sick that there are men out to take money from some unsuspecting woman. I catch them right from the get go. I have never sent anything to anyone. but they sure try. then try to put a guilt trip on you, the victim. My brothers were in the military, so I know they have access to their money. they get free travel and all the other benefits that soldiers get. I play along with them and laugh at every thing the say, because I know it isn’t true. When I get bored with it all, I lower the boom, lol. I wish I could share this article.

  • Lisa Coleman September 2, 2017, 12:18 am

    Is Richard Benjamin Perry a real Army soldier

  • Lisa September 2, 2017, 7:37 pm

    Is there anyways that i can contact and ask us army base in syria…i just want to confirm if his scam..

  • Michelle Orzechowski September 2, 2017, 11:13 pm

    I began talking with a person a few days ago his name he gave me is Captian Christopher Eric Parker he told me he is currently on a 9 month deployment in sudan immediately he started asking me if i would be willing to take care of him and his son that is 6 years old he said he is a widowed because his wife died in childbirth i checked into his Facebook it says his location is miami Florida but he told me he lives in Phoenix Arizona he then told me that in order for our relationship to be strong we needed telephone calls and gave me an email address of united.state@californiamail.com to get contact set he didnt tell me i had to pay up to $500 for a satellite phone his oops then he tells me oh id pay for it but i dont have access to my bank account here he then asked me to use kik to communicate but says over and over that he cant do video chats because of where he is if he did it would cause him to lose his chatting privileges he then asked me how much income i make each month and told me he makes 6500 a month supposedly his son is in Arizona with his mother who apparently her health is not good and his sister niomie is with her he only texts me via text or messanger or kik he sent photos but i dont think they are truly him i have a gut feeling he is trying to scam me and when i told him i couldnt pay for the phone our communication went down alot is my gut instinct correct

  • Tara Bellamacina September 3, 2017, 11:44 am

    I am a 44 year old lesbian female who’s been on dating sites and has gotten scam quite a bit every website that I go to to find out about the military scams never really says anything about women they don’t have pictures. I haven’t seen anything about the women on the gay websites that are posing to be military soldiers I think that you guys need to maybe see if you can put more out there about the gay side of it as well.
    Thank you

  • romelamaceda September 3, 2017, 12:32 pm

    Is there any payments for processing retirement/resignation. For military troops in army?

  • Judith Duis September 4, 2017, 5:05 pm

    Talking to a Donald Pazienza station in Syria, supposedly special agent. Want money for internet service says instslling new until done must pay so wants money sent to agent Johnson Kayode in Nigeria. Smooth talker. Thanks

  • Kathy Shaw September 4, 2017, 9:07 pm

    Need to know if a Brian Lambert is a real soldier?? He says he speacial ops in Africa I sent him a 5o iTunes card!! Now he says he needs money for Internet cause he undercover and army won’t pay it!! Now he wants my personal info. To make me next of kin?? What’s going on?? Need Help!!!

  • Joana Pereira September 5, 2017, 10:52 am

    Talking to a Sgt. Ryan lucas u.s Army 37yrs old stationed in Nigeria asked me for iPhone gift card and now just asked me for money…

  • Amanda Gouthro September 7, 2017, 10:09 pm

    Im going through something similar. He claims his name is Sergeant Allan Evan Lett. Hes deployed in the ivory coast and gets to go home to Texas. He hasn’t YET asked for money. I am NOT a gullible woman and i would NEVER send a man money unless i knew him personally. I just want to know if he is who he claims to be so i can stop wasting my time. Hes sent a ton of pics and videos but after all ive been through with men i always assume the worst until proven otherwise. I guess we will find out in January when hew home. If he skypes with me and hes legit great! If he doesnt or of he asks me for money at all between now amd then….. goodbye asshole
    Fingers crossed

  • Nancy September 8, 2017, 5:27 pm

    BEWARE SGT ASHLEY ALLEN. Very handsome photos of an ARMY man last name Allen. Special Ops in Nigeria. Widowed, parents deceased, one son Mark in Black Ops home, New York, lives with his cousin. Originally from Mexico City, Mexico. Lived in Phoenix, even gave me a home address. Met him on Tinder I believe. He is/was still on Tinder recently, I reported him as a SCAMMER.

  • May September 9, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Just wanted to ask if there is frank soto who is on peacekeeping mission in nigeria.thank you!

  • Karen September 10, 2017, 8:57 am

    Can anyone verify an Alex Jason Johnson. Sgt.in UK military.formally from US.on peacekeeping humanitarian mission in Nigeria. 46 yr old.please has anyone heard of him is he real ? Or is this a scam.asked for money.phone card.leave papers.mefical report . prescription tablets . goods. Flights home. Etc etc.

  • Diane D September 11, 2017, 1:37 am

    I received a message from a soldier, claiming he was Sgt. in the Marine Corp (E5) and happened across my profile while trying to locate someone else, and was “smitten” and wanted to get to know me. He had an Instagram profile with the name AlexanderMarKalfan1. I ran a search on this name that came back with no one in the Marine Corp by this name. I confronted him, told him to leave me alone. He said he had to be careful and his real name was Daniel Hopping. He sent me a picture of himself in uniform with this name and a picture of his Purple Heart citation. He also told me he was 34 and had a 5 year old daughter named Cathy, and lived in Jacksonville, NC. A public records search shows he is 25, and lives in Rodgers, AR. (He could live on base at Camp Lejeune and his permanent address could be Rogers, AR). No record of him having a child. He also told me his Mom’s name is Bessie, but her Facebook page shows Sonya, different last name. I asked him why and he said Sonya was her middle name she went by. Also, lost phone, can’t call or Skype, only IM on website Viber (802-432-8160), which has capacity to call and videoconference. A Google search on this young man’s name shows several Instagram accounts with his pictures. The pictures he sent me were I believe, stolen from his and his Mom’s Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. He also told me he had no brothers but Mom’s page shows 2. This may be the first hack for this young man. Trying to reach out to let him know but no success. Told me he could text on his tracker device but it didn’t have a large field, so Viber worked best. Yes, he sent me pictures not on either of the social media pages. Never offered to email me. Sent me poems and links to songs. Professing love after a few days. Also all the compliments. Hasn’t asked for money, yet! I hate that this young man, who was wounded in battle, is being used this way! He didn’t sign up for this!

  • Steve September 12, 2017, 8:02 pm

    I have been chatting with a female soldier who was in Afghanistan up until 2 weeks ago when she was discharged and now she is in Arkansas with a sister. The pictures she sent me are of a Sgt Vanessa Ximenez who is real. She also has a website as Gabby Ximenez which is real. I don’t think the person I am chatting with is her. She sent me a copy of her Afghanistan special forces ID card. It shows her as a Sgt but an E-6 instead of an E-5.She has a new I phone and I have asked her to call me and she avoids the question. How can I find out if she is the real Vanessa Ximenez?

  • Cindy September 14, 2017, 8:07 am

    I thankyou for your site.
    I met a man on twitter Lane Richardson. Said he was on a peace keeping mission in Iraq.
    He told me his wife died of breast cancer, his parents were killed in a car crash when he was young. The only family he had was his daughter.
    He said for security reasons he couldnt access his bank accounts.
    He asked me for money 3 times, I never sent him a dime.
    The last time he asked me for my bank info, cause he got access to his funds and wanted to put money in my account so I could sent it to him. Made no sence, of course I never gave him my bank info.
    Thats when I came on here and found your site, he ticks all the boxes doesnt he.
    I had one last communication with him just to call him a liar then I blocked him.

  • Jamie cole September 16, 2017, 6:39 am

    Could you please tell me if Sgt. Aaron Adele Cole is an infantry he was deployed in April to syria and then to Africa met him on Facebook he lives in meridian Idaho dads name is Duane Cole and his mom is deceased he has a 6 year old daughter we chatt every morning his time is 7am and our time is central time 1am we chatt for hour or less and I’ve helped him with few hundreds to pay his registration fees and his leave form since he’s not finishing his service out now he’s waiting for some money from a company for his flight ticket I told him that it should be free he said it would be if he was going to stay till his service was up since he’s not he had to pay but he’s not asking me to help him on that he just says he can’t wait to be home with me but he sent me a Teddy bear and bouquet of flowers to show me he is real and to prove his love for me I can say awful stuff to him like he’s a Nigerian man and he’s a fake he doesn’t get mad or anything but there’s part of me saying he’s so fake and the other part of me says no but reading your scam guide he gave me his commander email its Yahoo. Com its commanderjames@yahoi.com for me to tell him I sent money to his commander he says he doesn’t get the money his commander does but I send money to this place in Nigeria name eniola majek
    State lagos
    Zip code23401 could you help me please please email me he goes by Sgt. Aaron he’s not allowed to tell me where the camp sets he asked me to marry him but I said no but further on time he called me his wife so I asked him do you want to get married he said yes then that’s when he started wanting to come home he says he has money but can’t cash checks in Africa so its put up until he gets back to USA but we don’t chatt but in the mornings, he’s out on patrol all day he’s allergic to mosquito’s so one time he got sick he didn’t go on patrol so we chatted all day until the meds got him drowsy but he wants me to use his last name please could you find out if he’s real again thank you so much Jamie Cole

  • Elisa Rivas September 17, 2017, 12:25 am

    Does anyone knows or have heard this names.. JOHNSON GILBERT supposed to be a Staff seargent E-6 .. also HENRY J. SMITH?

  • Noemi soria September 17, 2017, 11:00 pm

    Help me find if Jason Miller is I real military person him say if in Kabul aganistan am have pictures but no recently photos him told me that but they tell me too can’t take pictures in there and also am asking with him for video chat and they say can’t not too please help me no asking for money to now that say i can calling but the need money for calling card help me please I want know if him is I real military

  • lakeisha September 18, 2017, 3:26 pm

    Is there a edward johnson? 37 yrs old he’s is on Facebook but his age is different on there. Is he a scammer?I really think so pls help me confirm this. Thanks for any help .

  • Ld September 19, 2017, 1:46 am

    I would like to know if Army Captain Austin A Deserio is a real soldier on deployment in Chad?

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