Dating isn’t exactly a piece of cake, and while online dating has made it a lot easier to find and connect with people of similar interests, it can still be pretty tricky, especially if you are military personnel. Online dating is fun, and social media is all about chatting with people and getting to know them virtually before actually meeting up, but that poses a certain risk factor too. Since you don’t know who you are talking to, the person on the other side of the screen can very easily be a scammer looking to clean out your bank account or perhaps get you to perform a favor of some kind.
It puts the military members in a red spot because of their work’s sensitive nature, which means they need to be on the lookout and be careful when trying online dating for a romantic relationship. Conducting some research is always a good idea. If you are too busy to do that, simply check out a popular review site, such as datingreviews.com.au, where you can find comprehensive reviews created by real dating coaches and analysts to provide you with in-depth details about the working of dating sites.
To better understand the need to read reviews, let’s look at some scams that military personnel get easily trapped into.
- Romantic Scams
There have been hundreds of cases reported regarding romantic scams where people create fake profiles on dating sites and claim to be active-duty military personnel deployed one place or the other. What these profiles do is that they tell their “victims” stories about their deployment and ask them for money for things such as transportation fees or money for communications which they classify as service-related needs. The victim, out of wither some sense of duty or respect for those on duty, end up spending a lot of money which they will most likely never get back.
There are things to remember, though, which can help you filter out the fake profiles from the real ones. The most important thing is that active-duty members can simply request leave or send stuff back to their homes and don’t need to pay for these things. Sometimes, scammers produce real-looking paperwork to keep up the ruse or give authenticity to their stories, which the victims can easily fall prey to. Hence, the second thing to remember is that active service members have official email addresses that end in .gov or .mil.
- Internet Extortion
Another social media scam that usually hampers military relationships is extortion, where an active duty soldier is seduced to perform sexual acts online. In this type of extortion or “sextortion,” the military personnel become the victim as these activities are recorded without permission, and then they are used to blackmail the victim. With these types of scams, the risk is high because if the victim gives in to the demand of the scammer, then it is likely they will be blackmailed again and again. The reason this type of scam is successful is that the service members who fall prey to it are usually young officers away from home, have a higher standard of conduct due to their service and the fact that they have financial stability.
The best way to avoid being scammed or extorted is to refrain from posting or sharing compromising pictures and videos online. If you feel suspicious about someone, simply stop any contact with them.
- Identity Theft Military
This type of scam is a favorite for the scammers because, in addition to the scam itself, they get to impersonate someone important or someone with authority. There have been reported cases of identity theft of service members where the scammers use the profile picture of military personnel and then make claims for renting houses and vehicles and other things or asking for money. It usually goes down by the scammer sending fake information to the victim about different items for sale and asking for a money transfer. When the victim makes the transfer, there is no product at the end of the sale because the real owner has no idea that a deal has been made in his name.
- Fraud Impersonating another Person
Another reason why authority figures have their profiles replicated is to use their name for an agenda, bring shame to their name, or make amount transfers on their behalf. Scammers have many reasons and benefits for impersonating another person, such as claiming to be senior military members of the authority and promising profit-sharing in helping them move large amounts of money or other items for a small fee.
Once they achieve their goal, these scammers go dark and find their next victim, but all this dirty business leaves very little room for military service men to have a healthy and fruitful online dating experience. It is best to read reviews to select a reputable military dating site and keep as much information as possible private. And, military personnel should be careful not to post any pictures with their ranks or name tags, etc.