Scams involving the military and fake soldiers have a long history and are difficult to detect, which is why international private investigators, police, and other crime-fighting organizations work hard to keep the public informed about the risks.
Scammers are well aware that military personnel serve as important role models in society. Soldiers represent the security and well-being of a country and are viewed as the defenders of liberty and justice. As a result, people tend to be very trusting when they meet members of the military online. Few questions are asked, and people become a victim because they feel compelled to give something back to these claimed soldiers.
Yemen investigators say that scammers take advantage of the real conflict and use it in their favor. The country has been in armed conflict since 2014, and the civilian population has suffered greatly as a result. Landmines have killed and wounded thousands of people, ruined villages and farms, destroyed hundreds of vehicles, and barred many displaced people from returning to their houses. Even with a recently agreed truce, millions of people still face starvation and death as a result of a lack of basic services, the economic catastrophe, and shattered government, health, and education systems. Sadly, the crisis is all too real, and scammers know people have been witnessing it in the news for years.
Taking advantage of the suffering of Yemenis and the sacrifice of real soldiers is a despicable act, yet scammers only care about money. Impersonating military members has become extremely profitable, which explains why the problem keeps growing and growing despite the alerts. At the same time, real soldiers are victims of identity theft and their photos are being used to deceive thousands of people on online dating sites every day.
So, what can you do to avoid getting scammed by a phony soldier? The first thing to keep in mind is that it pays to be wary – this applies to any internet relationship. Soldiers typically live in difficult conditions in the countries where they are stationed, so scammers use stories of not being able to receive their checks or needing money to pay for food, bills back home, etc. Most people do not have the resources to prove if the person on the other end is genuine, much less to verify if the circumstances they describe are real. Don’t allow yourself to be misled by photographs, videos, or documents. There are numerous methods of editing photographs, simulating video conversations online, and forging documents. Online scammers have many resources to convince their victims and they will use them all.
Don’t reveal too much about yourself and ask a lot of questions, particularly those that might be relevant to an investigation, such as dates of birth and other verifiable facts. Once you have enough information, hire a military background check investigation. Many victims do not consider investigating until they have lost a significant amount of money or have put a significant amount of time and emotions into this online relationship.
If you’re talking to a soldier online who claims to be deployed in Yemen, contact us for a quote and find out if the relationship is worth your time and energy.
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