The U.S. Army has issued a warning to those who may have ever met a service member on a dating site or social media.
A Syracuse resident was on a dating site and saw what appeared to be the profile of a soldier in Afghanistan. They connected and soon enough, the Syracuse resident was getting little requests for favors— he sent a $15 iTunes card before finding out that the profile is fake.
NewsChannel 9’s Tammy Palmer reached out to the U.S. Army, and found out that they get hundreds of complaints every month from people who say they were duped on legitimate dating sites.
Scammers steal pictures of real soldiers online and create fake profiles.
The Army calls it an epidemic and is warning people to be cautious connecting to anyone online who claims to be a soldier serving overseas.
Their advice: be suspicious if:
- you see a lot of spelling errors
- you never get to speak to the soldier in person
- they request money or gifts
- they want them mailed to an African country
The Army believes these scammers may be based in Africa, and they use cyber cafes, so they’re untraceable.
Victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars, with very little chance of getting it back.
If you’ve been the victim of one of these fake military profiles, the Army says you can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
For more information, click here.