Undercover Hearts: Unmasking Military Romance Scammers

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It’s quite common to find your love interest online on dating apps and other social media platforms. What is more alarming is that some of us find it difficult to meet our love interest face-to-face. Is it typical for things like this to occur? Or is there some dark truth that we are too scared to admit?

Although the internet has brought the world closer, there is still physical distance. However, the chances of getting scammed are also increasing at an alarming rate. Even though several social media platforms offer video call options, it can be frustrating if the person of your interest fails to respond to your video call.

Like most scams that are old and have been manipulated to meet today’s digital world requirements. Scammers understand human physiology, and they know that love is a powerful emotion that makes us do stupid things. We lose all our senses when we fall in love, and what’s more, we are in a constant denial phase when our near and dear ones warn us about the toxic relationship that we may be in.

As per a report by the Federal Trade Commission in February 2023, almost 70,000 people have fallen victim to the military romance scam and lost more than $1.3 billion in 2022. These are just the official figures; many are in denial of being victims of one such scam, while others feel ashamed and fail to report it to the proper authorities.

So how do you know if your love interest serving in the military is guarding freedom and not targeting you instead? We have compiled a list of red flags for you to verify if the love interest is worth pursuing or not.

Trouble accessing the bank account

One of the common tell-tale signs is that these scammers impersonating soldiers of freedom find it difficult to access their bank accounts due to their overseas deployment. Since they cannot access their money, they will urge you to help them by sending money. They promise that they will pay in the future, which never seems to happen.

If you make the mistake of sharing your bank details with them, they will clean your account and commit further financial scams under your name.

Need money to survive daily routine life

As they have trouble accessing their bank account, where they get their pay, they will urge you to send them some money for housing and food. You must remember that the military will provide housing and food facilities; soldiers do not have to pay extra for them.

Hit a gold mine

These imposters happen to have hit a gold mine; they have uncovered a huge amount of gold, cash, or any other valuable asset and are allowed to keep it, but they need your help to move it from their deployment area to the United States.

Soldiers are not mercenaries that go about pillaging during their operations. They are not encouraged to personally keep any valuables they find while on a mission or otherwise.

High-ranking officers ask for money

High-ranking officers in the military do not randomly call civilians and demand money from them. Neither do they demand it from their subordinates.

Holding a valuable package

These imposters will send packages to your home address and will urge you to pay the fee to release them from customs. They will assure you that the package is more valuable than the customs fees. In reality, these scammers will either use your address in a change-of-address scam, or you might end up paying frequently to release the package from customs.

They need money to meet you

They will try to cook up a story to pay the military so that they can leave their military life and join you in your arms. However, it is all a scam; they will frequently ask for money and make excuses for you to end up paying them more.

They decline your video call

Due to “security reasons,” these imposters say that they are ordered to decline video calls. However, this is further away from the truth; as a matter of fact, the military encourages soldiers to make video calls to their near and dear ones. If the scammers say that they are in the special forces, then you must understand that you will never find them on dating apps.

Sometimes these scammers will receive your call, but they will blame it on a poor internet connection; the video quality is always poor, dark, and difficult to figure out their features. You will have a hard time confirming that the pictures that they have sent and the one with whom you are video chatting are the same person.

If you can hear their voice clearly but find it difficult during a video call, you can be sure that there is a scammer on the other side.

Decline to share their mail address

Although the internet connection might be poor, the military always welcomes letters and mail from their loved ones. If your love interest refrains from sharing their military address, then be sure that the person is an imposter.

Refrain from answering your call

Under the pretext of being involved in a mission or training, these scammers will avoid picking up calls when you call them after sharing their phone number. They are the ones who will initiate the call. The reason is simple: they want to mess with your mind so that they have total control over you and will manipulate you as per their needs.

Deployed for more than 2 years

They will convince you that they will be serving for more than two years. They try to assure you that once their tour of duty gets over, they will meet you, so they have ample opportunity to scam you regularly.

They fall for you immediately

They will fall for you very quickly and will even propose to you, assuring you that you are the person that they want in their life. They do this so that you reveal all your details, and after getting all the information out of you, they will play mind tricks on you.

Using WhatsApp

These scammers will quickly establish their contacts with their victims and will prefer to use “WhatsApp” or “text” to carry out their future conversations. Most dating apps have strong policies that protect their users.

These policies will take action if any user reports a scam. Thus, it is in your best interest to remain on the dating app for as long as possible.

Low web presence

It is quite impossible to believe that your love interest has a very low web presence and equally fewer friends and acquaintances on a social media platform. What is more surprising is that they will have the same digital portrait that they share with you and on their dating app.

There would be fewer posts; it would seem that they are so active on the social media network that chatting with you and not with others is very surprising.


The best way to avoid falling victim to a military romance scam is to take it slowly. It is wise to refrain from indulging in your details, no matter how attractive they might seem.

It would be in your best interest if you tried to gain as much information as possible without giving your own.

If the person of your interest urges you to move from the dating app to text or WhatsApp, then try to be on the dating app as long as possible.

When they share their photos with you, try to Google them and search for a reverse image. If the search shows the person with another name, then refrain from further conversation.

Last but not least, it should raise a red flag if the person tries to ask for money or your address.

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