These days, it’s a must to be cautious of every thing you do on-line. Scammers are all the time making an attempt to get cash, items or providers out of unsuspecting folks — and navy members are sometimes targets. 

Listed here are some scams which have just lately been affecting service members, Protection Division workers and their households. 

Romance Scams

In April, Military Felony Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams during which on-line predators go on relationship websites claiming to be deployed active-duty troopers. It is an issue that is affecting all branches of service — not simply the Military.

CID stated there have been a whole lot of claims every month from individuals who stated they have been scammed on respectable relationship apps and social media websites. Based on the alleged victims, the scammers have requested for cash for faux service-related wants comparable to transportation, communications charges, processing and medical charges — even marriage. CID stated lots of the victims have misplaced tens of 1000’s of dollars and certain will not get that cash again.

Keep in mind: Service members and authorities workers DO NOT PAY to go on depart, have their private results despatched house or fly again to the U.S. from an abroad project. Scammers will typically present false paperwork to make their case, however actual service members make their very own requests for time without work. Additionally, any official navy or authorities emails will finish in .mil or .gov — not .com — so be suspicious for those who get a message claiming to be from the navy or authorities that doesn’t have a kind of addresses. 

Should you’re frightened about being scammed, know what red flags to look for. Should you suppose you’ve got been a sufferer, contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission

DOD officers stated job forces are working to take care of the rising downside, however the scammers are sometimes from African nations and are utilizing cyber cafes with untraceable e-mail addresses, then routing their accounts the world over to make them extremely tough to hint. So be vigilant! 


Sexual extortion — often called “sextortion” — is when a service member is seduced into sexual actions on-line which can be unknowingly recorded and used towards them for cash or items. Usually, if a sufferer caves on a requirement, the scammer will simply probably demand extra.

Service members are enticing targets for these scammers for just a few causes: 

  • They’re usually younger males who’re away from house and have a web based presence. 
  • They’ve a gradual revenue and are sometimes extra financially steady than civilians.
  • Due to their careers, they’re held to a better normal of conduct. 
  • Navy members have safety clearances and know issues that is perhaps of curiosity to adversaries. 

To keep away from falling sufferer to sextortion, do not publish or trade compromising photographs or movies with ANYONE on-line, and ensure your social media privateness settings restrict the knowledge outsiders can see — this contains promoting your affiliation with the navy or authorities. Watch out whenever you’re speaking with anybody you do not personally know on-line, and belief your instincts. If folks appear suspicious, cease speaking with them. 

DOD officers stated sextortion usually goes unreported as a result of many victims are embarrassed they fell for it. Nevertheless it occurs worldwide and throughout all ranks and providers. Here is what it is best to do about it if it occurs to you:

  • Cease speaking with the scammer. 
  • Contact your command and your native CID workplace.
  • Do NOT pay the perpetrator. 
  • Save all communications you had with that individual.

Service Member Impersonation Scams

Scammers like to impersonate folks of authority, and that features service members. 

These folks usually steal the id or profile photos of a service member and use them to ask for cash or make claims that contain the sale of autos, home leases or different big-ticket objects. These scammers usually ship the sufferer bogus details about the marketed product and ask for a wire switch by a 3rd get together to complete the acquisition, however there’s no product on the finish of the transaction.

Currently, faux profiles of high-ranking American navy officers have been popping up on social media web sites utilizing photographs and biographical info obtained from the web. For instance, there was a rise in impersonator accounts on Twitter for Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees. Nonetheless, the one official accounts for Joint Employees management are @thejointstaff and @SEAC_Troxell — Dunford doesn’t have his personal account. 

Scammers are making these profiles to defraud potential victims. They declare to be high-ranking or well-placed authorities/navy officers or the surviving partner of former authorities leaders, then they promise massive earnings in trade for assist in transferring giant sums of cash, oil or another commodity. They provide to switch vital quantities of cash into the sufferer’s checking account in trade for a small charge. Scammers that obtain cost are by no means heard from once more.

Listed here are some methods to decrease the probabilities of you being impersonated or duped by a scammer: 

  • To keep away from having your private information and photographs stolen out of your social media pages, restrict the small print you present on them and do not publish photographs that embody your identify tag, unit patch and rank. 
  • If an alleged official messages you with a request or demand, look intently at their social media web page. Usually, official accounts can be verified, which means they’ve a blue circle with a checkmark proper beside their Twitter, Fb or Instagram identify. 
  • Seek for your self on-line — each your identify and pictures you’ve got posted — to see if another person is making an attempt to make use of your id. Should you do discover a false profile, contact that social media platform and report it. 

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