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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.


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!


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:


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!


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

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • Sara April 21, 2016, 8:05 pm

    Started talking to david napier. Asked for no money. But after reading this. Family deceased. e7. And in love right away. I asked what was wrong with him if he fell in love that quick…..lol

  • Dorothy April 22, 2016, 9:04 am

    Steven Ray is his name. His hometown is Tulsa Oklahoma He says he is in Iraq and he cannot give his military email because his commander doesn’t not want them to, only to family. Can’t receive mail because there are too many soldiers there in too many squads.
    He has asked for money for his internet. I did check Google and found that they do pay their own . BUT, is that true?
    I would hate
    to call a true soldier a liar.
    Help please, before I make a mistake OE lose him.

    • Stacey Abler April 27, 2016, 8:28 pm

      There is no reason why he can’t give you his email address. And the mail excuse doesn’t make sense either.

  • Alison April 22, 2016, 6:37 pm

    I met a guy called Major Michael Welch, he is based in Syria apparently. I met him on Tinder then he added me on Facebook. He is very loving and caring. hasn’t asked for anything but wants to live in UK eventually as his mum & son are there..I am very sceptical as we have only been talking for a week. He now wants to use Google hangouts & face time..How do I check him out??

  • Bodacious April 23, 2016, 3:57 am

    Been texting with Dale Howell for 2 months, wants to marry me after 1 month. Had a so called nanny who is taking care of his daughter verify his identity. Sent him $ for phone cell service. Feel really stupid. Stationed in Iraq.

  • Maribel Chaparro April 24, 2016, 12:27 pm

    Daniel Crowell Kabul Afghanistan, says he is a sgt , is in face book. He is a scam .

  • Patricia smith April 24, 2016, 11:59 pm

    I just read where someone said there were no army or military guys in Syria. Is this true?? I’ve been talking to a guy he says he’s from Colorado and is on deployment in Syria and has been there since January. I don’t know his last name but he told me his first name is Carl. He has sent me pictures but after reading all this I am not sure if they are real or not. He hasn’t asked me for anything at all. I wanted to send a care pkg but he tells me today that care pkgs now have to go through the military bases and can’t just be sent due to something happening earlier in the year where a bomb went off or something in a mail delivery truck. How do I tell if he is real or not?? He says he is coming back home in 3 wks. Can someone tell me how you find out if they are real or a scam since he hasn’t asked for anything from me.

  • Kelly April 26, 2016, 1:54 am

    Anyone heard of a Andrew Sawyer Farrar? Stationed in Nigeria. Has a 7 y/o daughter who lives with his GMA in dallas

  • Patricia April 26, 2016, 2:09 am

    I have recently found out that the guy I had been talking to is a scammer and he is using a military profile to do it. He is on POF and recently on eharmony which he deleted after I asked him for his military email address. But when I did a Google picture searches he popped up on the POF site as well. How do I turn him and his pictures in so others don’t get scammed by this guy? His user name on POF is scoutsout114. I want to get him stopped

  • Ewa April 26, 2016, 6:37 am

    Stacey, thank you. This is the best article I read about those morons who pretend to be US soldiers. I promise you that if I recover any money from EUR37,000 which I paid to my soldier’s lawyer for getting him the replacement, I will not forget about you.
    I had a partner for 23 years who passed away nine years ago. After nine years of being completely alone, I decided to look for a soul mate, and … I found the scammer, I mean he found me. A single dad serving in Afghanistan, three children at home in the US and his late wife who died from cancer. Nice pics of a great decent man stolen from the network. Money is one thing, but the most important are my feelings. I just cannot believe that knowing all these facts about me, that I have no family at all, that I live all alone in a big house only with my dog, that it’s been already nine years I spend Christmas all alone crying instead of sharing my joy with my family, they (he and his “lawyer”) just used me. Like a piece of unnecessary cloth. I don’t drink alcohol, but now I’ve started. Some thoughts of suicide came also to my mind. And I feel terribly ashamed, guilty, humiliated, as if somebody raped me. I cannot talk to anybody because I have nobody to talk to; besides I wouldn’t be able to confess to anyone I know that it happened to me.
    When I started to be suspicious (it was too late because I paid them the “replacement compensation fee”) and started digging the internet, I couldn’t believe what I read. I found all the signs of his scamming. I wrote him the letter: ”… No man who loves a woman would ever expose her to what you have exposed me. … You have no slightest idea about the secret military services, and you will not be redeployed anywhere because you are not a soldier. Real soldiers like real men would never ask women for money because they are honourable guys with balls, guts and dignity. …. And you know what? – I do feel sorry for people like you and that woman .. your lawyer. But remember and be sure, it will come the day that we all will be judged … also such people like you and your lawyer deprived of any remorse for the harm you do to other people.”
    I reported them everywhere I could, but even if they are traced, found and punished, nothing will heal my feelings. I’m all alone here, and just need a good word ….

  • Jenny Lynn cantrell April 28, 2016, 5:37 pm

    I need to ask you a question I’m meet a guy that’s in kwauit in the army he doesn’t get own line a lot he doesn’t ask for money we’ve been talking for a month now he saids when he is deployed back here he wants to no if I will marry him, but he told me that he was gonna mail me an engagement ring and he did I got it a week and a half ago in the mail is that true are is he fake. Will you answer that for me

  • Lina April 28, 2016, 8:27 pm

    Well I don’t know where to start been scammed need to catch person

  • Sherry Hudson April 29, 2016, 1:00 am

    Please contact me I have been scammed by several men. And would like to know why me. What am I am doing to draw them to me

  • Ganda April 29, 2016, 7:04 am

    Hi i just want to know if tom steve davidson is a real soldier in u.s army? Please kindly send me an email message i want to discuss with you about my sister problem with her boyfriend. Its very sensitive matter, i prefere to discuss with you in private email

  • Christine April 29, 2016, 2:58 pm

    I have been chatting to a guy from the above site for a while now and although he hasn’t asked for money, I really need to find out if he is real or not . His name or the one he has given is Thomas Nugent and is based in Qargha in Afganistan. He is a well built guy and very handsome , and I’m doing a bit of detective research on the internet because I want to check out what he is telling me is the truth. I’ve put his details on scammers site but don’t know where else to go to find the truth?

  • Joanne April 29, 2016, 3:49 pm

    Been scammed by a by a name but so called two different people both say different things but then again one said something I never told him but told other with same name yes I was taken by one he got me for 100.00 bucks he promised to send it back but after I send him 230 bucks for a leave wanted me to get a hold of agent then other was to get a military stamp for him to call and sent me a list of things to send him I mean it was a list I want to report this person or persons both say they are getting hacked there e-mail was hacked how do I find these ppl to see if they are real

  • yolanda April 30, 2016, 12:36 pm

    I met a so called soldier from Syria I sent his so call mother over 5,000 dollars for a leave. I have known him online and phone on and off. He found me again and now he needs money for a lawyer. All I want is to find out who he really is. This is email address thomagodwin01@gmail.com

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