Some call them ‘tag chasers’ (I just became familiar with that term recently), but whatever the moniker, there are people who seek relationships with military personnel online. I'm sure the reasons vary, and most are probably based on romantic movie and television programs, or misconceptions about military life.
What’s not so humorous is that people aren’t being smart about their search and many are getting scammed out of a lot of money. Strangely enough, some victims have military personnel in their family to bounce concerns off of, but they don’t ask or won’t listen.
The Army CID (Criminal Investigations Command) issued a warning in October about frauds, calling them ‘Romance Scams’. The really disgusting part of this is the use of the names of deceased service members.
Civilians don’t know that leave papers don’t come with a price tag and medical expenses are free for active duty. Yet these are tactics that are being used to solicit money and unfortunately, people are believing this and providing money to the scammer.
Service member identities have been stolen in the commission of these crimes. These scams can effect all of us in that regard.
If you know of a friend of family member who is involved with someone online who claims military status and is asking for money, refer them to the Army CID’s warning and signs. There are also instructions on what to do to report this.
Here’s a few places to report this scam:
- Report the theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (FBI-NW3C Partnership) at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.
- Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
- Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations