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'Soldier' Asking for Money to Come Home from Deployment Is a Scammer

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I wanted to ask you for advice about what I should do. I am twice divorced with two children, and I share custody with each of their fathers.

My daughter is six years old. Her father is in the Army and stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. My son is 10 years old. His father is a Marine stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

Both of my children will be spending the summer with their fathers, which will provide a much needed break for me! It will also provide some time for romance with my new boyfriend.

Here is my question: My boyfriend is in the Special Forces and he has been on a mission for the past year in Africa. I'm not sure exactly where in Africa because he is on a covert mission. We have become very close, and we can hardly wait to finally meet each other in person. We are already talking about marriage.

As you can see, I love men in uniform and I'm trying to show how loyal I am to my boyfriend by supporting him because he says he does not have access to his money while he is deployed. I have been communicating with his commanders to help him get leave so that he can see me while my kids are away.

How much should it cost for him to come home on leave? He said that if he comes to see me in Texas, it will cost more than if we meet up in Dubai. I'm willing to go wherever so that I can be with him. His plan is to take 30 days of leave in August.

This is all confusing for me since he is in a very covert force. I may even have to speak to a diplomat in order for him to be granted leave to come see me, and that makes me nervous because I don't want to say the wrong thing. Please help me with any information if you can provide.

-- Lovesick Girlfriend

Dear Lovesick,

You clearly love men in uniform -- but you obviously love scammers too. You were previously married to a soldier and to a Marine. Did you ever have to talk to their commanders or to a diplomat in order for them to take leave? No, you didn't.

Please allow me to be honest: I think you move too fast. The tone of your letter suggests that you are all over the place.

I get at least 30 letters every week (even more if you include the messages I get on social media) from women who have given tens of thousands of dollars to someone who claimed to be in the military.

Each time, the woman thinks she has found a man to fall in love with, meet and marry. The story is almost always the same. The women give their life savings to a supposed military man because he doesn't have access to his bank accounts because he is on a covert mission.

Often times, these women also tell me that all of their accounts have been wiped out because they happily gave their account numbers and passwords to someone they thought was an honest military commander or U.S. diplomat. Some women have even reported that their homes have been vandalized.

You have to understand that this is a very serious situation. Your life could even be in danger. You say you're considering going to Dubai? To meet whom? The only thing that would be waiting for you there is danger -- not happiness or marital bliss, I can assure you of that.

I can understand that you want a break from the kids and you're excited about the opportunity to get "turned up." I get it. But you're being stupid if you continue with this relationship. This is a train wreck waiting to happen. I promise you that you will regret it.

I think you should cease communication with this man right now. Block all messages from him and change all of your passwords and account numbers.

I know that there are tons of women out there who will read this letter and will still follow in your footsteps. This is baffling to me. It's like the more I say "stop, don't do this," the more women accelerate their passion for this charade. Let me know what you decide to do.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is 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.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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