I just got done reading an article about the increase of scams in which the scammers are pretending to be a US Soldier. Why do these scams continue to work so well? These scams play on the victims emotions.
As far as we look back at history, we can find stories of letters being sent from soldiers going to fight for their country or a cause back to someone that they care for. With the age of the internet, these letters are sent via email instead of traditional methods. Through these letters people feel connected and share stories, and the start to build trust and sometimes even deeper feelings for the other person. Now, add to this that many people want to do the right thing to help out a soldier who is fighting for our country and you add even more emotion to this stories and THAT is why they work so well.
This article does state that
The Army has received complaints from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Great Britain and elsewhere, with victims reporting losses from a few thousand dollars to $28,000 in one case, Grey said. The stolen identities have primarily come from soldiers and Marines, who have been deployed in the greatest numbers.
In response, the U.S. government has issued warnings, with its embassy in London going so far as to post online examples of fraudulent military papers used in scams.
The US Army released a warning about these internet scams which includes some red flags and warning signs to look for. At Scam Victims United, we would recommend that you do not send money to anyone that you do not know personally. If the first time that you came in contact with this person is via the internet, even if you have been speaking for months, remember that you do not really KNOW this person . . . you have no way of knowing who is really on the other end of the computer screen.