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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

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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.
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  • 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

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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.

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.

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

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