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Zoey_JD
Zoey_JD, Criminal attorney
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23601
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I am fairly certain I have been contacted by z military romance

Customer Question

I am fairly certain I have been contacted by z military romance scammer. I haven't sent money or anything, but wanted to know where it can be checked and reported?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, The military is well aware of military romance scammers and very upset about them. Many scammers "borrow" the photos of real soldiers who have fallen in combat and use them to fleece their victims. The military warns about such scams and asks that victims report these frauds to the FBI online at their Internet Crime Complaint Center. You can see one of the military's warnings here. As for checking into whether he's for real or not, there are a couple of ways to find out, and they are 100% foolproof. If your "soldier" won't give you the information you need, he's a fraud: 1) Ask your scammer for his official military email address. This is not classified information. A real US soldier may have a classified email address as well, but he also has a regular military email address with which he writes to his friends and family. Every soldier does because it is the only one he is supposed to use. When he gives his email address to you, it should end in .mil at the extreme right of the @ sign. It will NOT end in .com or any other extension. In other words, it should look like dent.stuart @us.army.milIf the email address doesn't end in .mil on the extreme right side of the @ sign, he is a fake. Only US servicemen can get a .mil email address, and if he can't produce one that you can email him back and forth with, he's scamming you. Period.2) If he's claiming to be out of the country in a war zone, ask him for his APO address. Tell him you want to send him a surprise and need to know where to send it. If he won't give it to you for any reason, he's scamming you. If he gives you an APO address it will look something like this:Dent Stuart23rd BattalionUnit 1234, Box 56789APO, AP96522-1215Note how there's no address listed. That's because members of the US military serving abroad in a war zone are not allowed to give out their actual locations for security purposes. The mail goes to a special zip code in the US and then is routed through military channels. The military knows where he is and will get it to him. If he gives you something like the above, mail him a letter. See if it comes back to you through the post as an addressee unknown.3) Get his name, social security number and date of birth and enter it here on the armed forces website. This too, is not classified information and, in fact, would be information he'd have to disclose if he were ever captured. The site I have linked you to should tell you if he is a soldier. If he won't tell you, then you know he's a scammer. He has no reason to refuse to give it to you. If he does but the site doesn't recognize him or contradicts what he's told you, that tells you he's a scammer too. This site is safe to use but is certified differently than most sites. You'll get a warning message, but it is an official US government site and you can use it with confidence. With an unusual name like Dent Stuart, you probably won't need more than his name and date of birth to confirm he's a liar. With common names, you'd need the social security number as well.The above are foolproof. If he can't or won't give you what you ask for then he's a fake, no matter what else he tries to say or show you or how many of his buddies he gets to write or call you.This last doesn't always work, but when it does it's really dramatic:4) Upload his photo to Google's Search by Image and see if the same photo is being used all over the web on a bunch of different names and profiles. If you can't figure out how to use Search by Image you can upload the photos as attachments with your reply to me and I can do that for you.
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 1 year ago.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center is online at IC3.gov.