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Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? You might be looking for true love, but chances are good that you are the victim of one of thousands of military scams conducted every day. Officials and websites like Military. Victims of these online military scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member. Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery.
The U. Unfortunately, the people committing these scams are often overseas -- using untraceable addresses, routing s through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes. See examples of fake documents used by scammers. There are a variety of words and phrases used by scammers to hook unsuspecting men and women into relationships.
Here are some examples:. Scammers tend to use similar stories to convince men and women that they have a legitimate need. Here are common answers to those questions:. Never send money. Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees via Western Union. Do your research. If you do start an Internet-based relationship with someone, check them out.
Research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member. Communicate by phone. Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail. Internet or not, service members always appreciate a letter in the mail.
Many of the negative claims made about the military and the supposed lack of support and services provided to troops overseas are far from reality. Check the facts. Don't use a third party. Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company. Often, the company exists but has no idea or is not a part of the scam. Watch for African countries. Be very suspicious if the person you are corresponding with wants you to mail anything to an African country. While some U. Someone claiming to be in a place where we have few troops is suspect.
Many scams originate in Nigeria. Watch for grammar. Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the s. Be guarded. Be very suspicious of someone you have never met and who pledges their love at warp speed. How do you get help if you are the victim of a military scam or think you have found a romance scammer posing as a military member? Unfortunately, if you've given money to a scammer, you're unlikely to get it back since scammers are often located overseas and are untraceable. You can also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations. Finally, report Nigerian scams to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by at scam efccnigeria. For the latest military news and tips on military family benefits and more, subscribe to Military. If you're like a lot of milspouse entrepreneurs and professionals, you were working from home long before COVID. But here are It doesn't seem like 20 years ago. I suppose that's how I know I'm getting older. The time has passed so fast. Here are some of the things -- both in-person and online -- you can look forward to over the next few months.
There are generally no restrictions on where you may retire. Travel restrictions are generally the same as for all civilians.
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Finding the help and resources you need to plan for your financial transition from the military is critical. This military spouse is well-known as America's first female cryptoanalyst. Meet Elizebeth Smith Friedman. By taking some time to increase your financial literacy, you'll know the next steps to take on your financial journey. College is expensive but the Scholarships for Military Children Program is helping military kids ease the burden.
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All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. You May Also Like. Connect with Other Military Spouses Through These Fall Events Here are some of the things -- both in-person and online -- you can look forward to over the next few months.
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