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Fooled by Scammers Posing as US Troops

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I come from Malaysia. I know this person in my Facebook. He said he's a working soldier. I feel something is wrong about this.

One day, he said he needed help to get out of Yemen. He said he has a daughter and they are the only people left in his family. He lost other family members a long time ago. Maybe I had a lot of sympathy for him so I agreed to help him.

I received a series of steps to follow to help my soldier. This email said I must pay first and said after they finish this processing, I can get my money back.

Now I'm at the final step and I have to pay $5,000. I don't have that money. I want to know is this the process for all U.S. soldiers to leave Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq. Do they have to pay money in order to leave?

I am scared and I don't know what to do because they just emailed me again about the payment. They have all of my information, a picture of me, my email and Facebook address. They may want to hurt me. Ms. Vicki, can you help me?


Dear Ashana,

This is a scam. Stop communicating with these people immediately. Just don't respond to anything.

Change your email and your Facebook address and your password. If they have any contact numbers, you should change them too. Also, even though your scammer claims to be in Yemen, not Nigeria, this information about scammers impersonating military members may be of help to you.

If these scammers have any of your banking information, you need to notify your bank and have the accounts closed. You should have any credit or debit cards canceled and new ones reissued if they have any of this information.

If you have any other problems with them, you need to report the crime to the FBI here.

Hope this helps. Again, just don't respond to them anymore. 

Ms. Vicki


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Ms. Vicki, a native of Dallas, has been the ‘Dear Abby’ for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.