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Army Impersonators Scam Women on Dating, Social-Networking Sites

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The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command has received frequent reports of scams involving individuals pretending to be U.S. soldiers, who get romantically involved on the Internet with female victims and then steal their money.

“We are seeing a number of scams being perpetrated on the Internet, especially on social, dating-type websites where females are the main target,” said Chris Grey, Army CID’s spokesman.

The fraudsters are pretending to be U.S. servicemen, often serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. They will often take the true rank and name of a soldier and then combine that with photographs of a soldier found on the Internet to build a false identity to lure victims.

The scams often involve requests for money from the victim to purchase laptops, international phones and transportation fees to be used by the “deployed soldier,” so their fictitious relationship can continue. Victims of these scams have been duped to send money, often thousands of dollars at a time, to a third-party address so the phone or laptop can be purchased for the soldier.

“We’ve even seen instances where the perpetrators are asking the victims for money to ‘purchase leave papers’ from the Army, or help pay for their flight home so they can leave the war zone,” Grey said.

Army CID is warning people to be very suspicious if they begin an online relationship with someone claiming to be an American soldier who within a matter of weeks is asking for money or marriage. Many of these cases have a distinct pattern to them, explained Grey.

“These are not soldiers, they are thieves,” he said.

The perpetrators often tell the victims that their units do not have telephones or they are not allowed to make calls or they need money to “help keep the Army Internet running.”

“We’ve even seen where the crooks said that the Army won’t allow the soldier to access their personal bank accounts or credit cards,” Grey said.

All lies, according to CID officials.

“These perpetrators, often from other countries, most notably from Ghana, Angola and Nigeria, are good at what they do and quite familiar with American culture, but the claims about the Army and its regulations are ridiculous,” Grey said.

To date, there have been no reports to Army CID indicating any U.S. service members have suffered any financial loss as a result of these scams. Photographs and actual names of service members have been the only thing used. On the contrary, the victims have lost thousands.

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  1. Received a friend request from a person impersonating Major General Gary Patton. I accepted mainly out of curiosity, as I have a nephew (serving in Afghanistan) and a son in law serving in Italy. I thought maybe it was somehow related to an FRG. The first message came July 3, and described the officers role in Afghanistan, followed by: Peace to you and your country. (Which I thought strange coming from a man that was supposed to be from this country.) The next message began with: Hello Sweetheart. How was your day? Common sense told be there was no way an officer of this rank would be sending such messages. Then, I noticed that the clock showing his Skype location was showing a time that was at least 3 hrs. earlier than it should have been. At that point I started googling for scam information and came across the comment from Mrs. Menoz. Please get the word out. People do need to be careful of unknown Skype contact requests, etc.

  2. Also, this is the Skype address he was using: brig.gen.gary.patton1

  3. I have recently been a target of this on-line scam using photos of a soldier apparently located in Iraq. I suspected that this was bogus early on and maintained a “conversation” so to gather additional transcripts, emails, and phone numbers of the perpetrator. This scammer uses the name Major Marc Bernard. … which I searched and came up with nothing. That was a key tip.
    The phone number I gathered traces to a number in Watertown, NY. I have been contacting all the proper authorities and have been interviewed by several media outlets. .. for blogging and article writing purposes. I have also been using social media to get this out there.

    I feel strongly that these men should know that their images are being used in such a manner.
    Can anyone help with locating an Army soldier. . .from photos only??

    This is completely reprehensible.

  4. This is for Patti…..
    Here’s some additional information for you …there was a man posing as a solider as well he tried to get my cousin to give him money, it turned out that the person on the other side of all the e-mails and calls was incarcerated in a California prison. After careful research she was able to pin point were his IP Address was and the telephone number he was calling from as well. Ladies you know there are FREE services out there on the internet that you could do searches and see exactly where these dirty so and so’s are … they say they are in other countries and they are right in our back yards as well…if you send me your e-mail address I would be happy to send you the free search websites! Be safe ladies!

  5. Hello and thank you for providing this page.
    I would like to supply some further information regarding this.
    Many of these so called US Army personel, can easily set you up and use common email services such a g.mail and yahoo.
    It is not customary for the US Army to use these kind of services, and these individuals are very clever in the way they try to convince you that they are in the US forces.
    If they are who they claim to be, then they should be able to supply their military email address and APO.
    Other sites they use are Benaughty.com, mate1.com, and Cupid.com
    Thank you for your attention.

  6. I as well have been contacted by someone claiming that they are military in Afghanistan. they are asking to have me send funding to set up a phone because, the military does not have a phone line at the front lines. as well as sending funding return travel to the US. his email is sgtdannyr@yahoo.com avoid him
    Thanks for all the information!

  7. Well the scammers are down under in Australia, tha last couple form a dating site have had IP adresses from Ghana!!!!! All in all I have had 4 seperate attempts to scam, only one got to the point of asking for money.
    Conversations in chat are rehearsed not a natural flowing ‘chat’ or converstation, they use lengthy descriptions of how honest & trustworthy they are!!! They frequently ask the same or similar questions with a reharearsed reply, they dont seem to remember what you have previously told them…………..!!! Alarm bells ladies or men!!!! You are being scammed. Check the Ip address on any emails you have been sent and you can type the IP address into a tracing site to see where the email is coming from. If they sound too good to be true then they probably are. Often they will state they are residing in your country or state only to be overseas in Afganistan.
    I do feel for the lonely & fragile people that are so vulnerable to scammers such as these and for Servicemen whose photos have been stolen to deceive other women.
    Take care people
    Me x

  8. I recieved a reply from a man on Match .com claiming to be staff sargent Jeffrey Repetto u.s. Army serving in Iraq. He was about to retire and was after 2 days of email madly in love with me. He never got as fare as to ask for money because I googled him and found out he had a facebook and myspace with very different information. So I never talked to him again and blocked him. My concern is for the man in the pictures he sent me. Im sure that they are of some handsome soldier who has no idea this creep is using his pictures and maybe name.Is there any way to find the soldier in the pictures? If so please informe me.

  9. They are on dating sites too military Cupid.com I found 2 one of them used real soldiers profile from army reserves found real one on Facebook let him know. Use google image for photon search do not believe anything they tell you. Too many victims lots of support groups on Facebook put in us army dating scam I joined support group as I was so sad and disappointed that my soldier turned out to be a scammer. Also go on romancescams.com lots of photos. Of the soldiers faces these crooks are using I love the us and uk military I am a Brit.

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