How do military scammers use photos?


Quick Answer

Military scammers often steal photos of legitimate military veterans and use them as profile pictures on their own dating profiles, take pictures of themselves in a fake military uniform, or include a photo of a child to get sympathy while claiming to be disabled or widowed as a result of military service. Many of these scams are run overseas with the intention of targeting women to con them into sending aid packages, money and other valuables.

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Full Answer

Military scammers often get their photos from the social media profiles of legitimate military personnel. They then construct a personal story around those photos to generate interest, sympathy and support on dating sites. As a result, some of the same photos get used repeatedly on multiple profiles and multiple sites.

Others buy a fake uniform or use photo editing software to create medals and otherwise stage the appearance of military heroism. The scammers often do not know a lot about how the military actually operates, so statements in their online profiles often conflict with details in the photos or are contradictory to current military operational policy.

Some scammers also use photos of people with physical disabilities or missing limbs in order to draw sympathy and make a victim more likely to send money to help their plight. Photographs of real or manipulated military documents such as certifications and deployment orders are also used occasionally to try to give the scammers more credibility.

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