ABC 7 News reported yesterday of a woman targeted by an online dating scammer posing as a US Army sergeant. According to the official Armed Services newspaper Stars & Stripes, these types of scams are prevalent as the scammer simply steals a photo of the member of the armed forces from their social media profiles to use on unsuspecting women.
We encourage you to read the full story at the link above on how this scam develops, but thought we would reiterate some of the key points for avoiding these type of romance scams, whether they come wrapped in camouflage or not.
Reminder–How to avoid an online dating scam:
When online dating, insist on meeting in person early on before you send too many messages and form a “virtual attachment.” Your first date should always be in a public place and if you have a funny feeling, consider running a background check on your potential date beforehand.
Be extra careful if your suitor has reason to be out of the country to avoid a first meeting. International business people and members of the armed services make easy cover stories for scam artists.
Never send money early on in a relationship and especially before having met the person. Treat any requests for money as a clear red flag for a scam.
While the tactics of scam artists are always changing, the above principles remain the same and we hope will help you avoid any trouble on your search for romance.