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Minnesota National Guard
Internet scams and impersonation

The Army Criminal Investigation Command receives hundreds of allegations a month from victims who state they got involved in an online relationship with someone, on a legitimate dating website or other social media website, who claims to be a U.S. Soldier. The "Soldier" then begins asking for money for various false service-related needs such as transportation costs, communication fees, marriage, processing and medical fees. Victims of these online scams have lost tens of thousands of dollars, with a very low possibility of recovery.

The U.S. has established numerous task force organizations to deal with this growing epidemic; unfortunately, many times the people committing these scams are from foreign countries using untraceable email addresses, routing accounts through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay per hour Internet cyber cafes, which often times maintain no accountability of use.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

- DON'T EVER SEND MONEY! Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees. Use of Western Union

- If you do start an internet-based relationship with someone, check them out, research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member.

- Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail. Servicemen and women serving overseas will often have an APO or FPO mailing address. Internet or not, service members always appreciate a letter in the mail.

- Many of the negative claims made about the military and the supposed lack of support and services provided to troops overseas are far from reality - check the facts.

- Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company. Often times the company exists, but has no idea or is not a part of the scam.

- Be very suspicious if the person you are corresponding with wants you to mail anything to an African country.

- Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the emails.

- Be very suspicious of someone you have never met and who pledges their love at warp speed.

WHERE TO GO FOR HELP:

Report the theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) (FBI-NW3C Partnership). Online: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations.

Online: http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft

By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) or TTY, 1-866-653-4261

By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580

Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission on Nigerian Scams.

Email: spam@uce.gov

Information from: http://www.cid.army.mil/romancescam.html
Related Links

Army CID warns against romance scams

FTC: Faking it -- scammers' tricks to steal your heart and money - July 15, 2015

Washington Post: Love a man in uniform? Online dating scammers hope so. - February 25, 2015



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Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
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Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
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Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
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