Would you consider yourself a detective? According to these five military men, who spoke out against scammers, you may need to start!
It is common for scammers and catfish to take on the fake identity of a real-life military person and use their images to con and trick others online. According to these five men in the military who speak out against romance scammers, catfishers take on the identity of a real-life service member and use their images to con and trick others online.
It may even have happened to you!
You will think you’re falling for someone great, who wants to meet you. However, the scammer is either trying to trick you, steal from you, or using you for their reasons. Whatever the case, no one deserves to be scammed. Let’s learn from these top five Instagram accounts, run by those in the military, and stop scams before they start!
Service Members Speak out Against Catfishing
Meet Juan Avalos, a United States Navy Chief who prioritizes family, fitness, and god. A married soldier, he also helps those who might be tricked by online catfish and scammers:
I want people to go the extra mile on knowing exactly who they are chatting with online. Be a detective and investigate as much as you can before you start any romantic relationship online.
Also, check out this YouTube video he posted:
Meet Mike Sency, who hosts a podcasts and posts videos about scammers and is on active duty, according to his Instagram page:
While it sucks to be scammed by these things you should remember that the serviceman/woman who's pictures they used had nothing to do with it, please stop coming after them because they are victims in this as well.
James Văn Thạch
Meet James, who is more than a Soldier For Life U.S. Army Infantry Captain, he is also a suicide counselor and helps warn against scams through @ScamLifeGuard and his website CaptainThach.com.
On that website, he offers helpful ways to avoid scams:
- The use of free posters to educate about romance scams involving the military.
- Report scams to the F.B.I.
- Find a language to understand “Scams”.
- Only meet real military personnel in your area.
While these tips are helpful, you should also always search images of anyone you meet online, to verify their identity.
Meet @gysgtwu, a Marine Corps Recruiter, chef, and fitness enthusiast. He opens up his Instagram to questions about the Marines. He warns his audience to be aware of scams and that no recruiter will ever ask someone for money, nor should they send money to someone they’ve met online but don’t know:
Please be aware of scams. No recruiter will ever ask for money for anything. Also, you should never send money to someone you have never met.
Here are some of his posts specifically about online scammers and catfish:
Meet Hiram Meraz, who knows that good looking members of the armed forces often have their images stolen and used by catfish. Follow his warnings:
It's official! Scammers are out there trying to take advantage of you. If you have seen fake profiles of myself or other service members, it's most likely NOT a hater or a joke. It's simply one of the multitudes of fake accounts being generated by scammers. Don't be fooled by accounts that don't reveal themselves in live videos, don't tag their friends, and use bad grammar. If you can't discern a real profile from a fake one, then learn!!
Check his Instagram post regarding catfish scammers:
View this post on Instagram
It’s official! Scammers are out there trying to take advantage of you. If you have seen fake profiles of myself or other servicemembers, it’s most likely NOT a hater or a joke. It’s simply one of the multitude of fake accounts being generated by scammers. Don’t be fooled by accounts that don’t reveal themselves in live videos, don’t tag their friends, and use bad grammar. If you can’t discern a real profile from a fake one, then learn!! . This isn’t personal, these criminals just make a bunch of fake profiles and see who takes the bait… hence the term “catfish.” It’s a numbers game. . Once again, a few things to look out for: 1)won’t reveal themselves in live video 2)won’t make phone calls or skype 3)bad grammar for someone that should be a native speaker . If you guys have any other pointers or advice, be a battle buddy and post them here for people to read. . If you have doubts about a profile, ask me or ask your friends opinions, especially before sending money or gift cards to some stranger!! . Repost this if you need to, tag your friends that need to hear this, let’s get the word out there guys! . #catfished #scammers #fraudalert #battlebuddy
Many service members become interested in scams after finding out a stranger has been using their images to trick others. The victim may be upset and think the serviceman or servicewoman had deceived them when they had no idea their pictures were stolen and used. Be skeptical of anyone you meet online unless you can verify their identity in person and get to know them. Scammers lie for a living and will say anything to get your money or gain your trust.
Make sure your background checking anyone you meet online and encourage others to do the same! You can search all the major search engines, social media accounts, and more with Social Catfish! Search by name, username, image, phone number, and email address: