Are You Dating an Army Soldier or a Fake?

Recently updated on May 9, 2023

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.

If you’re interested in learning more about military dating scams, visit my new website dedicated to these scams after you read the article below.


Since starting the website, I have received many emails from people who believe they are dating a soldier when, in most cases, they are not.

Nine times out of ten, she “met” her 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 was going to be his future wife.

What it means is she’s going to be his next victim.

When I first started hearing about the scams, it was always women being scammed by men. Now it can be either gender scamming either gender.

Stories That Are Lies

He’s in Special Operations

He is in a special operations unit and, therefore, cannot share any information with you. Indeed, special ops guys can’t discuss their job, but 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 replied they were in the Army. They never named their unit. Special ops guys don’t brag about it. They’re known as “quiet professionals” for a reason.

He’s Been Denied Leave

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 soldiers were denied leave after being overseas for years, it would be ALL over the news. It’s a lie.

It is also highly unlikely for someone to be deployed for that long. Stationed overseas? Yes. But deployed? No.

If you fall for this, it will be followed by requests for you to pay for him to be able to leave. He may say he will pay you back when he gets home. He may say that you need to contact a certain organization and then they will ask for money for “processing fees”.

He’s on a Top Secret Mission

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 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!).

When my husband was in, ALL communications were monitored when he was deployed. I couldn’t talk about where I was, much less where he was. He couldn’t even talk about benign things like the weather.

So there is absolutely no way a real soldier is going to tell you he’s on a top-secret mission and where that is! I mean, it’s not so “top-secret” if he can tell a random person he met on the internet, right?

He Needs Permission from Someone in His Unit

He says he is not allowed to talk about what he does. However, he has cleared it with his CO (or insert any other rank or title) so that he can tell you enough to make you believe he is who he says he is.

Outrageous lies follow this. 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 for another ridiculous story.

A commanding officer does not grant permission to discuss anything. And he absolutely will not ask for money.

Everyone Around Him is Dead

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 followed him, why do you want to be with him?

He Has No Mailing Address

He says he doesn’t have a mailing address because 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

He says he needs you to pay for his R&R leave because the Army doesn’t pay for it. This is 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 book your flight home from Afghanistan on Delta.

He may say that if you pay for his leave, he will pay you back when he gets back. Of course, this will never happen.

He may send what appears to be official correspondence from the government or the UN requesting a processing fee to grant his leave. If you look closely at these letters, you will see things that are not quite right, such as the grammar or the insignia.

He Needs You to Request His Leave

He says he can come home, but you must 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 an immediate family member’s death, the American Red Cross has to verify the information 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

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 have to.

He’s About to Retire

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

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 thousands out of pocket for their kid’s medical care.

He may also say that the person caring for the child died or can no longer look after them, so he needs money to pay for someone else or to pay for some friend or relative to get his child.

He’s a General

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

Seriously? First, the Army provides the essentials while you’re deployed, so there’s no need for a lot of money overseas.

Second, you can access 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 where 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?

If banks were routinely cutting off access to military members’ bank accounts, don’t you think that would be a major news story?

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

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

Outside of these scams, I’ve never heard the term “peacekeeping mission” used by anyone connected to the military.

Verify The Truth

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

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

Ask him to give you his Army email address rather than his Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. This will be his All soldiers have an Army email account.

There is NO reason he can’t provide it – regardless of what unit he is assigned to, his mission, 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.

If he provides this to you, open a new email and send an email to that account. Even if it happens to go through, this “soldier” you have been talking to will not be the one to respond.

Do not reply to the email he sends you, even if it appears to come from the military email address. This can easily be spoofed, and is why you need to open a new email.

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

Many have been provided pictures, copies of military identification cards, and even videos.

First, pictures can be grabbed from anywhere on the internet – there’s no guarantee you’re talking to that person. They may be using the picture of a real soldier, but that doesn’t mean you’re talking to him.

Some of these scumbags use pictures of soldiers 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 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 the rank of SPC and the 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 look like a mugshot – solid background with him in uniform and 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 its 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 to email, chat, and video chat for hours or even daily. They are too busy doing their JOB.

And most have no interest in “dating” someone online while 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

If you’re falling for this, I assume you’ve never been to 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, 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 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 into your wallet. And they’re doing this to many others at the same time they’re doing it to you. It’s just who will 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 a scammer, but he REALLY loves you… 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 supposed to leave, and you’re meeting him in less than 24 hours. Then all of a sudden, disaster strikes, and he needs three grand 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, he says 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 of any kind, 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 a 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!

New Website

If you’re interested in learning more about military dating scams, check out my new site dedicated to the topic. 

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. I am chatting with an american soldier. Who asking me to buy him on a steam card to play video games.
    I had blocked him when he asked me the first time. But then I got a message from his sister asking why I blocked him. I explained that I am tired of it and nothing is going to give. She answered me I will buy him a card. Now apparently his sister has lost her phone. I don’t believe it. Well weird just when his sister went after a gift card for him she has lost her cell phone. I am not a stupid woman.

  2. Feel conned by a US army official how do I know if he been honest asked to put money into my account and transfer it around to another account, asked me to open other accounts,like bitcoin, coinbase, cex-io now feeling trapped after I gave him all my information and he declared he loved me.

  3. Army guy on top secret mission. I’m Damascus syria.. asked by commander to stay 11 more months!! All went home w family paying for tickets .. he is only one left .. account is frozen in USA.. needs $9000 for ticket and can come home!!! Hmmmmm

  4. Awesome info! Can’t believe people actually believe this shit! But still very cool to read about just in case I ever hear anybody say this crap. Thanks again.

  5. I actually fell madly in love with the Poor Woman Soldier who’s pictures the POS scammer used!! So, be aware! These AHOLE scammers are using our Female Military Personnel as well as Male!!!

  6. These scammers are out of control. Please add to your list, money for United Nations processing fee for requested emergency leaves for a UN Commander overseas in Korea. A.K.A. A four star General. In which when you look at the official website of the United Nations it states, family members may request an emergency leave for Military members serving in the UN and it says there is a processing fee, it does not give an amount. However, I believe 5,000.00 is an excessive amount, for processing paperwork. Also add to the list about them wanting to send you a parcel and sending them 25,000.00 for the parcel. Even through legitimate shipping companies. If you research it, yes diamonds and gold from overseas do cost about this much, however the Military sends his belongings for FREE! Bottom line do not send any money. Especially cash to a third party, they are money mules and get a cut of the profits. They should also be arrested in my book. This will play with your mind and emotions but do not do it, do not be a victim to their crimes.

  7. Hi..I have someone online who claims himself to be a Us soldier who is apparently deported to Iraq for the last few months , we have been chatting continuously,he’s been sending me his pictures I have sent him mine ..his family pictures , we have been talking on watsapp as well but he keeps saying he can’t video call as they aren’t allowed .I have never dated a soldier and I’m not sure if at this point what he’s telling me is true or not ?? Can anyone help .

    I’m deeply in love with him and the feeling is mutual , he has promised me that once he’s back home after three months he will come visit me .

    I’m scared if he’s really genuine or not, he had tried asking me to help him send some cash so he can apply for his leave but I clearly refused him and told him that I knew he was scamming me and that’s when he agreed and later revealed his real name also of which I’m still not sure weather that’s his real name or not .how do I find out

    1. My friend and I have been involved in relationships with soldiers who provide very little information about themselves or their whereabouts. Were having troubles finding how a military parcels address looks on parcels. It’s
      APO :
      Soldiers name:
      Deployment area:

  8. I am new to this, so I am going to share my story. I met my bf/fiancee or whoever he is on social media. I have he has told me that his identity has been stolen and he has told me everything about what had happened in his marriage and they got a divorce. He re-enlisted back into the Army. I have sent money for Steam cards for his food and phone connection. He has told me what I think is the truth. He has told me that if I don’t believe him, he will have his attorney get ahold of me. He is a public figure and has explained to me how other men out there are impersonating him. The question that I have is, how do I know if he is the real deal or not? So far that I have read it sounds like I got sucked into this. How does one know how much intimate details of one’s life and the accomplishments they have done? How can I find the information to see for myself if he’s is active duty? I would need to know, the last thing I want to invest my life in something that isn’t there. Sorry, I don’t know what the website is for?

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