As a military spouse blogger, I get emails or messages from military girlfriends that are a little concerned about the military service member they are dating. There is something about the relationship that doesn’t sit right with them. Their gut is telling them something, and something just doesn’t feel 100% right.
The situation is usually that a woman has met someone online. This by itself isn’t strange in this day and age. A lot of people meet online, and many happy and successful marriages and relationships result from doing so, both in and out of the military.
But in this case, after meeting online, the woman is sent photos of a service member. She is led to believe she is now talking with or dating a member of the US military. They might have a name, backstory, and a history of military service.
Then, at some point, the service member asks her for money.
This is where things get tricky…
He might say the money is for food, or to take leave. There are many different reasons they might give. The problem with this is that someone who serves in the US military doesn’t need food for money or to take leave. This is provided for them.
When my husband was deployed, he might have needed money for things like the internet, fun items, etc. But never for regular meals. The military provides those. The military paid for and sent him home on leave, I didn’t have to send anyone money to do so.
The scam works in different ways, but these “service members” want you, the unsuspecting girlfriend to send them money, or to even send money to a service. The amount they are asking for blows me away. It’s not just $10 here or there but into the hundreds or thousands.
If a woman gives into this scam, not only will she be out the money but also heartbroken over finding out that what they felt was a real relationship, really wasn’t.
Like I said before, there are honest and real service members out there, and some amazing relationships that have started from online dating. But there are also scammers and people who will lie and fake their way into getting what they want.
The online world is amazing but can allow people to take advantage of others. Learn how to protect yourself and stay away from the scammers!
- If something seems off, it probably is. Trust your gut.
- Don’t give money to anyone you don’t 100% trust. Especially if they keep asking. Especially if they are asking for thousands of dollars.
- Remember, they don’t need money for food. They don’t need money to be sent home from a deployment. They don’t need money for a vaccine. They don’t need money to ship their belongings home.
- A deployment doesn’t last years and years. If the person you are talking to is active duty, they should have a duty station, and then deploy different places. They would not be deployed for years and years, to anywhere. It just doesn’t work like that.
- A commanding officer would never demand that they pay anything. They also will not talk with you about sending money.
- If they refuse to video chat, even after you have been dating for a while, that can be a huge red flag. Even if they do talk to you on the phone.
The truth is these types of scammers try really hard to convince you that they are who they say they are. They steal photos of real service members. They try to use the right type of military lingo. But in the end, something is really off. Remember, if it seems sketchy, it probably is. Protect yourself and your money.