She Said My Soldier Found Her on Tinder

My husband's face -- and words of love to another woman.

A message request from a woman I don’t know popped up in my Facebook app.

“I don’t know if it’s your husband or someone using his identity but this is our conversation on Tinder and I looked into him and found out it’s all lies very disgusted.”

And then pictures. Screen shot after screen shot of my husband’s face, a fake first name and words of love to another woman.

“Am really falling in love with you.”

“This is not my first time on this site.”

“Yahoo messanger?”

My stomach churned. I don’t want to be the next person to write a sad letter to Ms. Vicki. Did he really do this to me?

I responded to her, asked for more details and we started talking about what he told her. But the more she told me — times and dates he had messaged, things he said, a Facebook profile he had shared — the more something seemed fishy in a totally different way.

He used his full, real last name. He said he was an Army Sergeant but posted (real) pictures of himself in uniform with totally different rank. He said in his Facebook profile that he was stationed in Detroit, Michigan and deployed to Kuwait. He talked with her at times that I knew for certain he was actually with me doing things like driving our car or sitting on a key in Florida without cell reception — not using any phone or computer.

And he asked her for money at least six times, she said, saying it was the only thing he could receive where he was.

Thanks to my job here at Military.com, I get a lot of email from women who want to know if the service member they are talking to is the real deal or a scam — someone stealing a real person’s name and photo.

“He said I have to send him money so he can buy a permit from the Army to come home,” said one such message I received just this week.

Scam rule: if it smells like a scam, it is one.

So was this my husband contacting women on Tinder and creating a fake Facebook profile? Or was it someone stealing his name and identity?

I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out the answer to that. My husband and I reported the Facebook profile as being fake, and Facebook deleted it right away. That should also take care of the fake Tinder account, too (since, according to my research, they are linked).

Of course, nothing will not stop the scammers of the world from again using his photos and fake information about him. Thanks to my job I am a very public person, and my family comes along for the ride. But it isn’t all me — he has also been quoted on his own in news stories, including a few before I even started working in the MilSpouse news world. Like it or not, the information on us and photos are out there.

And if you’ve ever posted anything to any public social media site, your’s are too.

Are scams like this inevitable? What can we do?

A part of me thinks that, yes, they are. Anyone can become the victim of internet theft like this. A service member in uniform is especially enticing to a scam artist looking to trick women into giving them money.

We can be careful about what personal information we post about ourselves. We can remember that if something smells like a scam, it is one.

And we can know that if our “husband” is contacting someone on Tinder, it may not really be him.

Phew.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • Wounded by love

    I totally understand the disbelief. I was scammed for two years by one guy with the name Ruchard Dale or Ryan Dale. Took me for alot of money. He found me on FB too. I ended that and saw another soldier, I started this conversation. Later found out he also was a scammer using the name Mick Portman. I paid 239 to even be able to call him. He said he was Russian, but no he had a strong Nigerian accent. Stopped talking with this guy too. It is such disrespect to the true soldiers out their really looking for true love.

    • Lisa

      I guess I have a really hard time finding sympathy for people who let themselves get scammed by something so obvious. Why would anyone decide to “loan” someone money that they’ve met through the internet (especially those who never even met them in person either)? Especially if it happens twice…isn’t there a saying for that “if it happens once shame on you, if it happens twice shame on me”. People need to stop thinking of all Soldiers as these ideal, noble people because even real Soldiers will sometimes scam people but also those who place all this faith on every Soldier having integrity and honor just make it easier for people to use our military personnel identities to scam others because they know that it’s the approach with the most likely success rate.

  • bbodb1

    So the best conclusion here is why does anyone waste their time on Facebook?

  • Thank you for posting this. Posing as a soldier is a popular scam. It preys on the emotions. The biggest one I have found (in 2015) is Sigismond Segbefia. Among other things he posed as an Army sergeant in Afghanistan. He scammed women out of $980,000. Mr. Sigmoid used Match, and ChristianMingle. He pulled 2 years in the federal pen, then back to Ghana, where he gets to start over.

    • Sher Collins

      I understand there are many women who have lost a lot of money due to these scammers.. I at one time went to nail them and shut down a lot of the Facebook pages but they do open another one just as quickly as they are shut down…. And just got worn out with it and had to get out of it before it drove me bonkers.. But I do still run across them just recently had another one with a younger male and found him on Facebook having a new baby and did let him know of what was happening with his photos and everything and he did have over 1,7 some odd friends but I’m hoping that he lets her know so she won’t be harmed by this as well. I just know how much it would hurt me if I was contacted by another woman stating what had happened on the Tender situation as well. But this does happen a lot of the time. I have also found fallen soldiers and this is why I went to fight against the scams who go to shut them down!!!

      • Anna Johnson

        I met my so called “soldier” on a dating website called Zoosk. There are other dating websites that they seek out women too, much to my dismay. I met “Kevin Shoop”” a Captain in the US Army stationed in Syria. I cannot find his name any where and of course the Army will never deny or admit that there is someone with that name stationed there. I have pictures of him stationed in various bases and fortunately for me, I do have friends who recently came back from overseas and verified the base of which “Kevin” was posing in. We have been”talking” for over fourteen months now and yes, I was stupid enough to send money for him either for his VPN , business venture or his Reuter to text me. I finally filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission as well as the Army CID ( of course they never replied or called) and got in touch with the local sheriff’s department as well as the FBI. Having been in the military myself, I know what it takes to petiton to be discharged before the end of the contract. I emphasized to him since he is a single parent, that he can use that as his reasoning to retire from the military…we do it all the time.
        If it weren’t for my heart being involved so deeply, I would have washed my hands of this entire deal a long time ago. I have also written a letter to the Department of Defense to inquire into all of this, I do know that they will investigate as well. The FBI can reach over into the foreign countries than any other agency such as Secret Service or CIA, but the crux of the issue is that it has to be over hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been sent overseas in order for the FBI to be involved. Nationally, it would be the Secret Service in your area.

  • Sandy plants

    I am presently talking with a soldier , First Sargent. Deployed to Afganastan, how would one find out if he is the real deal??

    • Amy_Bushatz

      Here’s Ms. Vicki’s advice: http://www.military.com/spouse/relationships/ms-v

      But I’ll add as a note: any time someone asks you for money…a big ol’ red flag should go up.

    • Laura

      Ask him to send you a pic in a specific pose…something simple, but specific….hold the most recent magazine or newspaper…. Thesedirtbagz troll for pics of soldiers and download them use them… A special place can’t be made up… And if he is fake….it is the secret service that investigates…I hVe turned in several of this scumbags….

    • Anna

      Although the Army will not deny or admit the location or the name of the person, I would go to your local Army recruiting station et let them know that you were contacted by this person and you want to know if he truly exists because it was on a dating website and see if they will help.

  • I recently had a man friend me on Facebook he said he was somewhere in Africa or somewhere stationed and that he had lost his ATM card on night patrol and he didn’t have any money to feed himself and his 3 children that were staying in a motel because he was a widow the army sent his children with him so I knew from the beginning it was a scam he kept asking for my bank account info so the army could deposit his money into my account so I could wire money to him he went on and on and on for weeks I finally blocked him his Facebook profile name is William Scott Daniel . I’m glad I knew better but I was bored so I would pm back and forth with him smh

    • J. P. Ram

      I’ve had a David Barr Straw contact me first he is deployed his son is in Africa he needs $ and on and on

  • Nyla Coogle

    How was Mr. Sigmoid caught and prosecuted?

  • Patty Ram

    What about a David Barr Straw

    • Kip

      Scam, if he is asking for money. Military members who have legitimate financial needs have resources to go to other than asking strangers for financial help.

  • Pauline Micciche

    Yes, definitely a scam. I would probably just have deleted it before your post but now I might try to report it to whoever’s identity had been subverted so he or she can get the profile removed.

  • Jenna S

    This happened to my husband earlier this year. Several of his older photos were stolen, and we believe they’d all been profile pictures at some point. His page is private, so that’s all they could really see. Several women contacted he and I regarding several fake profiles on Facebook, Google+, and some other social media site (can’t remember the name). We reported all the ones we could find, and also put the Facebook profile link out to our friends to have some fun with before it was removed. I feel truly bad for the women who were scammed out of money, and wish there was more awareness given to this issue and how to spot a scammer. If 5 different women came forward about being scammed with my husband’s photos, I can only imagine how many people out there this has happened to…and yet no media coverage or recognition whatsoever. (In case anyone is interested, the names used were Blaine Blister and Daniel Blister…neither are my husband’s name)

  • Gaelaxy

    I own a catalog and sometimes people use my photos without permission. I use a Google program called Tineye to seach for copies of my photos on other people’s websites. You might be able to use Tineye if you suspect you are communicating with a stolen identity and find out who’s identity it really belongs to.

  • Denisa Garcia

    There is a man using this site to “prove” he is who he says. He sent me a picture of his account that was open and logged in. He claimed to be a Capt. in the Army in Special Ops unit in Syria. He said his name was Kevin Shoop and we had a “relationship” for about 15 months. He to “Borrowed” money from me and just when he said he was on his way home, he stopped talking to me. I had bookmarked his Military.com page and when I checked it about a week ago the name on it was Justin Shoop. I have not clue who this man is, but I believed him because he used this site to prove his ID. he first contacted me through Zooks, the dating site that is run through Facebook. So now not only do I have some major financial issues that he caused, but I also have a broken heart. I thought I was so careful and that I would not be fooled. Be Careful. I am a member of Military.com as well, and I fell for this.

    • Amy_Bushatz

      If he was using his Military.com account to “prove” himself, well … Military.com is not an official government site. Anyone can make an account and do whatever they want. I’m sorry that this happened to you.

    • Anna Johnson

      I fully understand your pain. This is the same man I have been talking to for fourteen months and had planned on marrying. He told me he would be getting out of the Army in April of this year and that never happened then the dates kept changing. Now, if I send him money there is a lucrative business opportunity in Dubai that would be the reason for him to retire from the Army. Having been in the military myself, I would not have imagined how gullible I have become since then. I have searched his name and could not find anything on him, so I do know from friends, that when they are on mission, their identities are hidden as if they are “ghosts” I have been trying to search for him and his kids on line and have not come up with anything. Now that I see your blog, then I am even more heart broken because my chances of ever finding someone will be limited because I definitely will have trust issues.
      Get your Secret Service Agency involved, file a police report, I had to do that, and unfortunately as much as it hurts, stop all conversations with him…

    • Anna Johnson

      He also does not care about your financial concerns. Blinded by what I believed was love, I sent more money to him instead of making my car payments, and utlities. Had my utilities shut off and that was the last straw. The next time he contacted me, I told him what happened and he just shrugged it off. So I decided the next time I would turn the tables. So I told him I had to fly back home due to a ailing mother who was hospitalized…all he cared about was the money. That was the last straw….Now that Secret Service is involved and now I am playing catch up on my bills and returning to a sad, lonely life at this point. I don’t think I would ever trust another man again after all of this.

  • I am in love with a man I met on Tinder his name is Andres Cardona he is being deployed to Africa as we speak, he has never asked me for money I am trying to make sure he is for real.

    • Ann

      Find out as much as you possibly can about this person and go to your local Army recruiting center and have them look him up and just tell them you were contacted by this guy on a dating website and you want to make sure he is legit. Don’t get caught up in this mess.

  • Guest

    I know this is rude, but this is pathetic. Meet real people in real life. Real Military guys don’t want random girlfriends from across the country that they will never see.

  • anna

    How about Kik messenger, do women in the military get scammed like this too? Has there been a woman in the military that somebody stole her pictures and identity and is using it to pretend like the men?