You’ve Been Catfished: Military Style…How To Find Out If The Soldier You Met Online Is Really A Soldier

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I met my husband online eleven years ago long before the days of Facebook and Twitter. In fact Myspace was probably still in beta and Blackplanet.com was where it was happening at. However we met on Love@AOL before it became Match.com and when it was free. We talked everyday for three hours on the phone and it was eight months before I actually came here to Fayetteville , North Carolina to meet him in person. When I look back at how silly and stupid I was back then , I call myself a damn fool.

Here I was meeting this man whom I had barely seen on camera because there was no Skype , Tango’s or Oovoo’s back then. We had a grainy version of Netmeeting that was as good as not seeing the person at all. I booked a ticket via Amtrak and came down here to Fort Bragg, North Carolina on a whim , really thinking that this guy I am talking to is going to exist and sweep me off my feet and hopefully won’t hide me in the woods in a dufflebag. Fortunately, for me I was lucky he (my husband) was exactly he said he was and did all of the above…well except for the hiding me in the woods part!

Unfortunately , for many it doesn’t turn out that way. I am astounded at the number of emails I have still been getting from women who are are engaged or dating so called military personnel whom they have never seen and have only talked to online. The dating online part isn’t even really the shocking part for me. What is shocking- is these fake military personnel who are leading naive ladies into believing they have found their soulmates, and getting rich off of them too.

The scheme these fakers are running is a pretty easy one because most women are sensitive and loving creatures who want to fall in love. We are easy prey, and when you have a man saying everything you want to hear it’s easy to get lost in emotion. The fake soldier comes across real by using fallen troops pictures and names. They believe that the payoff will be so great in the end, that they take time to get to know you and ask questions about your life as to create the illusion that they really care. They don’t care! They are trying to build your trust.

That scheme has also taken on the term Catfished, thanks to the popularity of the MTV Show “Catfish” based on people who are seeking to find out if the people they have become romantically involved with online; are really who they say they are.

After woo-ing the woman who he has most likely met via a social network or dating site, he then begins his pity story which usually revolves around one of these few scenarios:

*I am deployed with no family and I have a hard time getting what I need over here

* I am trying to come home on leave and I don’t have the money to do so

* I went AWOL and need money to get out of this situation

* I need you to apply for leave on my behalf (which require a fee)  because I really want to come and see you

If this has happened to you then you are officially being not only catfished but conned, duped ,and scammed. This is nothing but another version of the Nigerian Money Scams.

5 Ways To Tell If You Are Being Catfished Military Style

1. If the fake soldier starts giving you the story about how he needs things he can’t get “over there” but wants you to send money instead of a care package that is room for suspicion.Military members get paid and have access to the majority of what they need even in combat zones.

2. If the fake soldier says he needs you to sign papers for him to come on leave and send a fee that is an automatic red flag. Military spouses and significant others do not need to sign or pay for anything in relation to military coming home from overseas. Additionally leave from a combat zone is called R&R and is now only applicable if the service member is going to be overseas a year or more so be sure to ask him during your conversations how long he has been there. You can view fake examples of forms by clicking here: http://guardianofvalor.com/con-artists-using-fake-military-documents-to-swindle-money-using-soldiers-identities/ to see if they match up. Even if they say they are not in a combat zone but stationed overseas, they will never need you to sign off for them to go on leave.

3. If this so called soldier says he needs money to get out of being AWOL ( A term used in the United States Military to describe a soldier or other military member who has left his or her post without permission (usually in disagreement with a particular order”via Urban Dictionary”.) he is lying. No money you pay will get him out of this punishable act.

4. Ask scammers what they do in the military and their MOS which is a number followed by a letter.Sure they can google but if you happen to be on the phone and it’s taking them awhile to answer you that’s a red flag. Google Military MOS to help you verify.

5. Lastly remember Google is your best friend. Scammers like to use pictures of fallen soldiers so use the tool that the Catfish cast uses to search images with just one click. Click here for Google Image Search. You can also use some of the websites and Facebook pages that try to expose fake soldiers such as Stolen Valor and their official website Guardians of Valor .

 

Don’t be a sucker for online love so quickly. Do you research and don’t get Catfished!

 

 

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  1. Lisa

    I met my husband on eHarmony. After about a week if talking, I had a friend where he was stationed make sure he was legit and that the basics of what he had told me true. We laugh about it now, but I think it bothered him the first time I told him. It never hurts to be safe!!

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      I agree! If you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone why not take time to do a bit of research on them. We research everything else, we should certainly research our partners for life lol. Glad your story turned out to be one of the good ones :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jackie

    I met my husband on pof. After talking we figured out that we actually went to high school together, he was 2 yrs ahead of me and we knew the same people in our town. We continued to talk and got married 6 months later. Now, years later we def. laugh about it and think we were kind of crazy. I do think people need to be safe and be on alert for scammers and that goes both for the ladies and the soldiers. I’ve heard of many soldiers getting conned out of lots money by ladies they’ve met online many being Russian.

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  4. kelly L

    Still wondering if I am getting catfished by a military man.. I am a skeptic , so maybe I am looking for it to be fake…but to me some things just dont add up. he hasnt asked me for money or anything.. but i just want to know if he is who he says he is..

  5. Sandy

    Hello,
    Apparently he is in Syria, special forces, asked me to send a request to his commander for his leave…saying then that he don’t need my money, having enough but don’t wanna lose me. He doesn’t have any cam. Want to keep me as a friend. Don’t know what to believe :-(

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      Sorry you are going through this. As mentioned you would not need to sign or request his leave for him. You are not married to him and would have no involvement in any of that. Best of luck!

    • Armymutt

      Run away as fast as you can. This guy is an over flowing septic tank. Have you seen any mention of US forces in Syria on the news? SFers don’t reveal classified info to women online. If he was in Syria, he wouldn’t be telling you.

      • Lissyjm

        I got one who said the same thing that he is in Syria and needs money for us to communicate..$680.00 worth of communicating…I just laughed and said no thanks…

  6. I met my husband online too! I insisted that we Skype chat several times before he came to visit! Also, I made sure he booked his own hotel room in NYC (he was at Fort Drum at the time), so everything was on him. Definitely do your research on people, especially with the internet at your fingertips!

  7. CanadianGal

    For those of us still looking for love, could you please recommend which dating sites are legitimate? There’s a whole bunch of ” military singles” sites, but do any of the guys overseas actually use dating sites?
    Is there a good ” pen pal” site anyone could recommend since it might be nice to just make some friends too.

  8. Kerry Anne Coles

    Please could you assist me with a problem that I have.
    My mom has recently started communicating with someone called Cecil Glinieciwcz or Glinieciwicz, who claims to be in the military in Texas. There are so many military and romance scams out there and anyone can don a jacket, or fake photos online these days, so you can understand my concerns.
    This man’s email address is: cglinieciwicz@aim.com and he also goes on yahoo: cgliniewicz@yahoo.com
    I have to admit he seems okay, but I find it odd that my mother, a civilian, has to write to his superiors in the military, requesting permission for him to come to South Africa on holiday in the next two weeks. As far as I know, civilians don’t do that!! I have warned Mom, but she says I don’t like Cecil and she has ignored my warnings. That could not be further from the truth.I want her to be happy, but this just screams scam to me. He claims to be a lieutenant, but that doesn’t make sense to me that he would only be a lieutenant and not a higher rank at the age of 52!!

    He doesn’t use facebook and only uses a yahoo e-mail address. He doesn’t Skype for “security reasons” and he said that my Mom had to request leave for him, as that was part of the process. Doesn’t someone in the military request leave on their own? None of what he says makes sense!

    Please can you e-mail me and tell me if this Cecil Glinieciwicz or Glinieciwcz really exists in the military, or if this is indeed a scam. I don’t want my mom to get hurt and I don’t know anything about this man! Are my concerns valid or do I have nothing to worry about?

    Yours faithfully,
    Kerry Anne Coles
    Cape Town, South Africa
    SUBJECT: CECIL GLINIECIWICZ OR GLINIECIWCZ
    AGE 52
    CURRENT MILITARY BASE: TEXAS. I assume Fort Campbell

  9. Autumn

    I met my fiancé online! Not on purpose though. I am very much into cars so I joined a forum, and he just so happened to find a picture of me. So he messaged me telling me how beautiful he thought I was and then we began talking through his entire deployment.
    After coming back to the states, he drove four hours to meet me for the first time :) the rest is history! Even though my best friend was so scared I was being catfished I am so glad I wasn’t!

  10. linda lee

    Yes I’ve been talking to some one in afganitsan and he quickly told me how he felt about I mean said all the right things at first I confirmed his friend request nit thinking much about it as I’ve never corrisponded with a stranger but I found myself starting to really care for this person and the other day I somehow put location on in facebook I didn’t realize I did it and don’t even know if it would give his location but I answered him a few days ago and it showed my location and ni@rmaly

  11. linda lee

    Im sorry I didn’t finish as I was saying I noticed it had my location on the last tome I talked yo Jim that was two days ago and mormaly I here from him a few times a day but he hasn’t left me any messages since that day didn’t think I could be so stupid

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