Skip to main content

For Military Consumer Month, let’s talk a little about how romance scammers target people who support the troops — and sometimes servicemembers themselves. These scammers can be any age, gender, or sexual orientation and may approach you on dating sites or on social media platforms. In 2022, nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam to the FTC — and losses hit a staggering $1.3 billion.

These scammers may steal photos of real military personnel for their profiles. They might say they need cash to apply for a “leave request” to visit you. Or to pay for food and medical treatment during their deployment. One recent twist involves romance scammers pretending to be U.S. troops deployed to Ukraine where there’s no U.S. military presence. The scammers ask you to send them care packages by wiring money through an official-looking (but fake) military website. (Servicemembers never have to pay to get packages, food, medical treatment, or to take leave.)

How can you avoid a romance scam?

  • If someone appears on your social media and rushes you — to start a friendship or romance, or to get into a “great” investment opportunity (maybe in crypto) — slow down. Talk to someone you trust before you respond. Try a reverse image search of profile pictures. If the details don’t match up, it’s a scam.
  • If you suspect someone is a scammer, cut off contact. Tell the online app or social media platform right away, and then tell the FTC at

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Sylvia Picone
July 20, 2023

I note on Facebook these scammers will comment in online groups especially women oriented ones, requesting you send them a friend invite. Most of us are onto them and immediately block them. If you click on their profile it will show a photo of a service member who has been in the news and therefore their photo and some info about them is out there. The scammer uses this info to set up a Facebook profile page and even uses their name so they check out if you do a search. Don't fall for it. Even when you report it to FB they don't always take it down because they claim there is nothing that indicates it is fake. Just use your common sense and never send money to strangers. Never send what you would regret losing when you find out it was a scam just don't do it.

August 02, 2023

In reply to by Sylvia Picone

Thank you very much for the information, thanks to this article I discovered that I was being a victim of one of these scammers, we had been talking every day for a month, he even called me through hangouts, his story was credible, but now I am worried that they are using photos of children, he has sent me photos with his "supposed children", I would really like to know if the person whose identity has been impersonated knows that they are using the photos of his children. I would really like to help other people not go through what I have gone through.

August 15, 2023

In reply to by Carla

May I ask if he is possibly one that is widowed with 2 kids girl 11 and Boy 7? Been having someone message me for over a month and a half now and have given very important details that at least proves there is a real service member. Talked up about being an heir to realistate that is being sold and now is starving across the ocean because the food is nasty and is starving with no money to afford to buy from a food court. Let alone their toiletries. Just asked me today to send money to my bank account so I can send money like wise to help them in their dire situation. Haven't met them talk to them on the phone only a couple of times.

Joi Evans
November 13, 2023

In reply to by SC

Block this person, he is impersonating a military person, using their name and Photo. My sisternlaw worked 42 yrs as a nurse, had a nice nest egg, she now has zero. Luckily we figured it out although she’s still hoping he’s real and she did not mortgage her house, although she did her car when she was running out of money just to send to this imposter. It is very sad!

December 05, 2023

In reply to by Thickness

I have a smith talking to me and he until today asked for money, we’ve been talking for two weeks now seems pretty sketchy

December 06, 2023

In reply to by Mel

I have a smith to , Henry smith Claims to be in Afghanistan, widower , sound familiar??

Cathy S.
December 11, 2023

In reply to by Tay

I have one niw named Christopher Gates claims he's from Austin. TX. He was coming to depend New Year with me, but conveniently git deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan on a "peacekeeping mission:. He's told me he lost his rifle & had for it, Got sick.had to buy medicine, can't access his bank account. Now, he doesn't have money for food. I l called him out on it, and he still insists that he's bring honest. That how can I hurt him. and if I don't help him and ge dies that's on me. The worst part is, I,' a nursing home/physical therapy rehab facility trying to.walk again.

Ms Tina Hull
November 29, 2023

In reply to by Carla

I've been scammed by a US Army Sgt Major Mike Welborn imposter. Using a UN Diplomat Charles Burkhart( could be 1 playing 2 part) I eventually after parting with monies and seeing developments contacted US Embassy instanbul who gave me a link to reverse image.
Turns out facecheck.ID also searches accounts of fb, watsapp, LinkedIn etc and found the scammer image attached to his wife, ( this being the Real wife and Real Veteran) Chad Wintrigham

I agree more should be done to connect Real person of military who are having their images used in Romance scams

December 08, 2023

In reply to by Ms Tina Hull

Scammers, for the most part, don't work alone. They work in groups of 3-5. They help other groups. Many even profile you before they ever start hitting you up.

Pyllis Stewart
October 23, 2023

In reply to by Sylvia Picone

In have 2 men on Facebook claiming to be General Jame Hecker, There are 2 there right now. Facebook does not care. I was scammed purchasing Gamecards for his son Joe. He sent all kinds of pictures. I did block and reported them they are still in messenger. He even sent me a military badge claiming to be the real James Hecker. He hacked into my computer got into my Facebook. Now my Facebook has been shut down.

December 08, 2023

In reply to by Pyllis Stewart

Do you have family and friends that can help you start an account recovery?

Diana Mafnas
July 20, 2023

Great info! Thanks!

Ronald Crouch
July 20, 2023

Thanks for the tip. Very much appreciated.

September 11, 2023

Anyone been in touch with a woman named Julia Evans in the U.S. army/ airforce claiming to be about to retire and join you in the uk?

Ricky Rhodes
September 26, 2023

Is there scams with our military to get some South Sudan money from their government or some type of government money for our military send that money home to someone that’s not family. Like $ 100,000 dollars to send home.

Carolyn Joniak
November 08, 2023

In reply to by Ricky Rhodes

I have a guy who commented on one of my comments on FB. Asked me to friend him...he said he is on a peacemaking mission in Juba South Sudan in the US Army. Within a week he says he can't wait to be with me forever. He is a widow and his daughter is living with her nanny in Canada. He is now asking for me to send a military care package because they aren't getting fed well and has no access to his money. And his chat name is God is wonderful. Saying what a Christian he is. His facecbook profile is Jackson Dunkel

December 08, 2023

In reply to by Carolyn Joniak

No one in the US Army serves in South Sudan. There is nothing of military interest there and it is a place the Chinese military currently occupies. You have a Nigerian scammer.

September 26, 2023

I think this person I am talking to is not a US Army soldier can give me a email address so I can report him

Peggy L Skinner
November 20, 2023

In reply to by Pamela

I believe I am a scammer impersonating General James Rainey of US Army

September 26, 2023

I believe I'm being scam by someone on Google chat app trying to be a soilder and that's not rite at all

Margaret Nelson
November 02, 2023

In reply to by Janet

That's exactly what going on here with me too and I'm glad that I'm reading this because I don't want to be come a scam victim here.

Priscilla W
December 05, 2023

In reply to by Margaret Nelson

This is also happening to me as I speak. He friended me on fb about 3 weeks ago said he was a USA marine and he's been saying he loved me 2 weeks ago and now all of a sudden he says that he wants to send me a box with some of his belongings such as his allowance and documents for the past 2 finally after him begging me I stupidly told him my real number & address 😡😤
And then says that he sent the box to me even told me which company he sent it with, well now all of a sudden the box has been withheld in France for $1200!! He sent me photos of the box's contents and looks like a couple big bags of money , were talking stacks and stacks. I asked him where did all this money come from and all he said was it was his allowance doesn't make sense right? Right so now he keeps bugging me for the 1200 which I said I do not have and I also said that I think this is all a scam. So now I'm waiting to see what he has to say lol

Maiti Michaela…
December 06, 2023

In reply to by Priscilla W

Priscilla, DO NOT Believe any of this !! You owe this person one Penny. The make up these stories, and we don't know, and we believe them. There IS NO BOX ! THERE IS NO CHARGE WHICH YOU HAVE TO PAY !!! NO SERVICE MAN WILL EVER CHAT ON LINE AND SEND A BOX FULL OF MONEY !! STEP BACK A MOMENT EMOTIONALLY, AND YOU WILL REALIZE THIS IS NOT TRUE.
I GOT myself into such a situation, where A General ( !!! ) needed me to pay $350.00 to get a suitcase shipped to me which had a " code" in it to let The General leave Syrial. I almost fell for that !
Thanks to the Manager at Bitcoin Machine told me the truth and begged me nit to send any money !!! I didn't.
Once you send money, they think you believe anything and you send more money. IT NEVER ENDS ! YOU SEE THEY THOUGHT OF SOME CIRCUSTANCE ON HOW TO GET YOU TO FALL INTO THAT.!

Philip eapinosa
October 05, 2023

A woman claiming to be an Air Force woman emails me often, but every time I start a conversation with her she will say romantic things and if I follow her she immediately asks for money and says she’s been at a remote post and she is very hungry and needs money immediately. I have to admit I have sent her alittle but it she always wants more. I have confronted “her” about being a scammer but she swears up and down that she is legitimate. She has sent me photos of a beautiful blonde woman in uniform and I tell her if this is truly her, why doesn’t she look for a fine, handsome military man near her since I am mediocre, but she doesn’t give me a straight answer. I know she is a scammer but I kept wanting to believe. I think I am done with her now.

October 18, 2023

So I have a friend that had become friends with a military man and she fall for her charm and they fall in ig idk how gave her his info off his money to her promise her they well be married and the money will all be hers so she fell for it got the accounting to contact her to tell her what to download they told her what to send she sent a picture and her address because the accounting was telling her that she had nothing to worry about and then now that she has all this information about supposedly his account the accounting is telling her to pay $2,000 to them or to him the accounting if not they will send out FBI agent because I guess now she is in deep is what they're saying to her what advice would you be able to give me to stop this from happening or is there no way out?

FTC Staff
October 18, 2023

In reply to by Dee

This sounds like a scam. It sounds like the person who pretends to be a military man is trying to take money from your friend. Many scammers say they want to marry their new friends, and make other promises, but soon they ask for your money.

The real FBI does not send agents to your house because someone wants money. The real FBI warns people about scams like this, and says never send money to someone you met only online.

It's ok to stop communicating with someone and block them. You don't have to give a reason to stop.
If you gave them your bank account numbers, contact your bank and ask how to protect your account. If you gave your driver's license or Social Security number, go to this page and read what to do:

Martha Baker
October 23, 2023

This guy named General Jack O'Connor is retiring from the military said he was sent to Syria and is getting another award and five million dollars and wants the money sent to me by courier I don't think army retirees get five million dollars even bring a four star General is he a fake ?

Betty Klein
October 25, 2023

In reply to by Martha Baker

I have an army general chatting with me on Google chat now. He sounded more real than the admiral did last week. But now he comes up with a story about a small box full of gold and jewels worth I think it was $5 million. I’m waiting for him to tell me what he wants me to do. It’s a shame that they have started picking on recent widows. They really are the scum of the earth.

Valerie P
December 05, 2023

In reply to by Betty Klein

I’m chatting with a military guy in Google chat as well. He want’s to send me a box with hold and money. Your story sounds very familiar to mine. Why would he even trust me with gold and money, if he doesn’t even know me. We’ve only been chatting for about 3 weeks now.

Betty Klein
October 25, 2023

In reply to by Martha Baker

The Admiral that I chatted with several times a day on Google Chat started by asking for $500 in gift cards to pay for his internet connection so we could continue our close relationship. All within a week of friending me on FB. Then the amount went down and was finally anything at all that I could send. When I told him it was hard to live on the half the income he no longer messaged me. He had seen my Facebook status of widow.

November 30, 2023

In reply to by Martha Baker

There is a “general” calling himself Scott O’Connor supposedly in Syria texting me on IG. I didn’t let the chat go as far as google, and blocked this person. It seemed to me that his sentence structure is wrong and somehow he was using translation to respond. I never gave up my email, but are there any security issues that may arise?

October 27, 2023

I’ve been talking to this guy for over a month now and he claims to be a marine corp deployed in Yemen. He messaged me on TikTok where we started talking. We then started talking on Skype as per his request. He says he’s a single dad and claims to have 2 daughters that are being taken care of by a nanny while he away on deployment. He hasn’t out right asked me for money but suggested I send a care package to him. He gave me an email of his supposed colleagues wife to get information about sending the care package. Apparently she is the person who he uses to get care packages whenever she sends her husband a care package. I asked him if I could send the care package directly to him myself and he said no cause I’m not registered under his name and it is a long process that involves lots of paperwork to register me under his name. So the wife of the colleague indicated it costs about $1125 USD depending on weight and Kg to ship care packages. To me me that’s ridiculous and a very high amount. She suggested I give her a list of items for the care package and she would get it, put it in with her husband’s care package and we could split the shipping cost or I could get the items myself but I would have to pay the whole shipping cost for her to send it on my behalf. Idk 🤷‍♀️ it just seemed fishy to me cause I don’t feel comfortable sending a complete stranger money. The guy I’m talking to goes by the name Thomas Frank aka striker. He said he is retiring in the new as he claims that after being in active duty for 15-19 years he can retire. Idk if this is true and I don’t know if this guy is who he says he is or a scammer. He called me once and I heard his voice and he video chatted me once but it cut out due bad connection. I briefly seen him on video chat and he looked like the guy from his pictures so I’m really confused about this. My gut and intuition is telling me he’s not be truthful. What are your thoughts on this situation?

FTC Staff
October 27, 2023

In reply to by Lyla

That sounds like a scam. The person you're talking to is doing lots of things that scammers do, like saying he's in the military and asking you for money or gifts soon after you met. The person is probably not really a US soldier. If you send money to him, or the person he's working with, you probably won't get it back later if you ask.

Also, the US Post Office charges the same price to send packages to military addresses overseas, as to send packages in the US. Learn more at the Post Office website,

Lynnette Fleming
October 25, 2023

October 9, 2023, I received a friend request from a guy who said he was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army based in Syria on a peace mission & an interpreter. From his picture, I was intrigued by his rather handsome & trusting face. We corresponded through messenger for two weeks. His friendship soon turned romantic with his very impressive way with words. So easily I responded to how positively he portrayed himself with perfect penmanship, until he requested a small favor, when doubts entered my conscience. He wanted to send me his valuable boxes by a New York based courier truck to deliver the boxes to my home for safe keeping until he soon retired, moving to my city in the states. The date/time was scheduled while I was in touch with a man by the name of Tony, with a thick Spanish accent making the arrangements. During this process, my conscience kept haunting me, twice I blocked who I was led to believe was William. He soon returned under another name, then my second block, he came through text from Salt Lake City phone number where he said he was from. Part of me wanted to believe him, so I led him to believe I would follow through with the plan. Two hours before the boxes were to arrive at my door as COD at a cost of $3000 delivery charge I cancelled the delivery. William claimed he could not get access to his bank account & said he would pay me back (at my suggestion). The money would be paid after I unlocked the code number. Now my uncomfortable feeling grew even stronger as my feelings for him weakened & my suspicions grew stronger. So I called his delivery partner & messaged the scammer to let them both know that if the boxes are actually delivered, my local police would be there to meet them! Both responded with such a fear that made them scared and said they would not bother me anymore, goodbye forever. I blocked them & reported the scam. Since then, I discovered that William Atkin Armstrong is on the scam alert list and has been very busy catfishing others. He also has more than one facebook calling himself Steve Walter Armstrong in civilian clothes, claiming to be from 3 other states!?

Margaret Nelson
November 02, 2023

I thank you for this information that really helps me out here before I become a scam victim here

November 03, 2023

I been chatting with a marine on google chat. He is currently in Syria and soon to retirement.
He is in his mid 30’s and has a daughter in the state whom being taken care of by a nanny. He told me he had a nasty divorce.
I seen photos of him and we video call once but I couldn’t hear him but see him. He heard me just fine.
I thought it was the service over at his end. He hardly speak much of his duty’s and had ask me about my financial. He is currently did ask me to be the person to make payments for a package. Unsure why the nanny can’t do so if she care for his daughter.
I got an email that is supposed to be the delivery service: SEAMLESS COURIER DELIVERY.
I am unsure if this is real company or a scam to get people money.
According to the email I had to send $1,850 asap but then I told him I don’t have that at this moment.
He told me to no rush yesterday and now this morning he is telling me they charge a fee of $10 if I don’t send the money.
Also the format has of the emails are way off and written oddly. I did inform that marine I am speaking to about it and he told me he will pay back.
Please let me know if this a scammer.

Johnnysue Ramirez
November 09, 2023

John Miller is ethier a military or posing to be one he's sending all my friends moneyrequest which isn't cool

November 20, 2023

I meet these two guys on a dating app
They said one is in th army the other is in the Air Force. Army guy name is Robert Johnson and is in Turkey in. Special mission. But only talk through Google chat.Air Force guy just got deployed and will be back in three weeks but is telling me his accounts here got blocked and can’t be access overseas and he needs money to buy his toiletries. He also gave me his user id and password to log into his bank account which was very weird. Hi calls me everyday and is the sweetest guy.

What should I do?

November 20, 2023

My sister began communicating with someone claiming to be in the military a few weeks ago. She hit it off pretty quickly and this person said that they were sending a package from Ukraine to the states because it had some things in there for his family as well as his life's savings ($70,000 in cash to be exact). His claim was he was going to send his money and things for his family because he couldn't keep that where they were because he's currently in Ukraine in the middle of war. He stated he paid $2,400 dollars to send it through carrier service and if my sister could please receive the package until he is deployed back home towards the end of the year. My sister agreed.

As of last week, this carrier service has been charging my sister money because supposedly USCIS was looking into the belongings of the package to make sure nothing was contraband. Because the box was being held under USCIS custody, she needed to pay $1,500/day the package was in their possession. The box was apparently released today and was on its way to our state when suddenly the carrier was pulled over by AK officers. The carrier attempted to call and email by sister claiming that he was being pulled over because they were searching the van and discovered the $70,000 in cash in the box. The box made them think someone was money laundering. So, my sister just went ahead and sent another $1,000 because that's what police wanted in order to release the package.

It all sounds extremely fraudulent. I am really concerned for my sister's wellbeing and her safety because she is being emailed and called by these people pressuring her to send more money. My sister truly believes this "military" person she is talking to is real and that he isn't running a scam on her; but my sister has gone as far as pawning all of her valuables just to get the first $3,000 to get the package out of USCIS possession...

What can I do to help my sister recover from this situation or investigate it?

FTC Staff
November 20, 2023

In reply to by B.Santos

This sounds like a scam. Many scammers pretend to be US soldiers stationed overseas. They start new "relationships" with people they meet online and ask them for money and favors. In the scam you describe, there is really no cash or package of belongings coming by courier. There is no courier service. The messages are coming from one - or a few - scammers, who are making up stories and taking your sister's money. It's ok to ignore and delete messages from scammers, and keep ignoring and deleting until they stop calling. Contact local law enforcement if you're concerned about safety.

The US Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) warns people about online scams. The Army CID says:
>Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company.
>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 extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation .
> Submit a tip about someone impersonating a US soldier to CID at

Linda Way
November 29, 2023

In reply to by FTC Staff

I am currently chatting with an Admiral in the U.S Army named Davis Harvey. He was suppose to come visit me over the holidays. He was in Germany and the Dr. Texted me and said that he was in a two car accident and was in really bad shape. He said I was in his little notebook of who to contact if something were to happen. They want me to send $5,000 to help get him a blood transfusion he desperately needs to survive having a rare blood type. I feel like I am getting scammed and am really interested in seeing if anyone has spoke to this man?

I'm so done!
December 01, 2023

In reply to by Linda Way

No I have not spoken with this person. However, I have spoken with someone similar to him. Who claimed he was in the army. He had been deployed. First he needed money to send to his nanny. Then he needed money because he allegedly broke his leg. Even sent me a picture next. He needed money because he had to stay deployed. After I paid money for him to come home. And then he needed money Because he was going into the trenches and he needed money to buy food Although he had promised to come home. Then he needed transportation to go get something that he needed in the area in which the trenches were located. After that he was court-martial for staying behind. He needed money for an attorney. He needed money for taxes on the diamonds He bought with my money. So no girlfriend stop just say no to the drug! He is not real.

November 29, 2023

A friend is getting scammed.. because a retiring general is asking for an account of 5500..

November 28, 2023

Has anyone heard from someone claiming to be Daren Claudio Johnson deployed in Japan