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They work around the clock, and will keep you up all night communicating, she says. The romance scammers often will steal a military member’s photo from social media sites or press releases, Grey says, and may even use the military member’s name in their online profiles.“They get the victim in a fog so she’s no longer thinking clearly.” It’s not unusual for scammers to claim they’re in the military. Even senior Department of Defense leaders have had their identities stolen by these fraudsters.Don’t disclose your last name, your address, your place of work or other personal details until you meet your love interest in person. You also can copy portions of emails a love interest has sent and use an online search engine to see if the text appears elsewhere, because many scammers work off scripts, Nofziger says.Also, copy his or her photo and do an image search to see if anyone else shows up with that photo, Nofziger says.If you’re already smitten, you may wire funds to the scammer – no questions asked.“They are caught in the scammer’s web,” Nofziger says.
File a complaint: Federal Trade Commission: Call 877-FTC-Help, or file a complaint online.The scammer transfers stolen money into the account, then asks you to wire it out of the country, the FTC warns.Keep your guard up Rather than jumping right into an online relationship, “Be mysterious,” Nofziger advises. Don’t give out everything right away.” If you have any suspicions, search online to check if what he or she has told you jibes with what is publicly available online.Sluppick has found it’s usually those who are middle-aged and older – and an equal number of men and women – who tend to fall victim to scammers.Your love interest may be an impostor How can you protect yourself? Experts warn that the scammers usually want you to immediately leave the online dating website, and instead communicate by email, phone or instant message.