Attention – dating in-line!

Polished boots and buttons, razor-sharp haircuts, pressed khakis and the youthful look a beret invokes makes that private on parade seem like the ideal date.

Who wouldn’t be tempted into a relationship with one of our brave boys and girls? Organised, responsive to instruction, regular income and whilst away at barracks or front-line duty, allows plenty of free time for yourself in the initial courtship stages? Seems too good to be true…
…and perhaps, sometimes, that’s exactly what it is.

There are growing concerns that singles advertising themselves on online dating agencies as being part of Her Majesty’s Forces are nothing of the sort. Evidence is starting to be gathered that some of those purporting to be looking for love on line from the front line are not just members of society with low self-esteem looking to bolster their online dating profile, either.

Rather more sinisterly, there are gangs of confidence tricksters downloading images of our brave forces on active duty ad incorporating the in their profile to gain the sympathy and trust of others using the same matchmaking service.

Predominant in the US, the Criminal Investigation Command serving their forces against such thievery, has formally issued several memos warning both their forces and the online dating community at large about the situation.

In one reported incident, one woman surrendered $127,000 to one such claimant, after being wooed by promises of love, commitment and financial security once the ‘soldier’s’ term of service is over. And this woman is not unlike many other single women looking for romance online in the 30-55 age group, which these gang have identified as being the most vulnerable; she was dragged in by charm, plausibility and an expert ability to ‘pull the right strings’ that these gangs have honed, with practise.

Like so many scams targeted at gaining confidence in the lead up to asking for cold hard cash, these gangs are believed to be operating out of Africa. Whereas in the past, the demands for funds have been disguised as ‘an opportunity to invest’ or emotional blackmailing tactics, this type of online fraud can be a lot more difficult to spot, at first.

If you are genuinely concerned that the person approaching you on your dating site is not all they claim to be, until we are privileged to similar apps available in the US that check government and criminal records against specific dating profile information, in the UK you can check the service history of anyone claiming to be a member of H.M. Forces, Military Genealogy  where there are over two million military service records accessible for free.

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