HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The US Army Materiel Command has a warning for the public: be wary of people posing as Army personnel online.
They will steal photos of actual soldiers, playing on our sympathies and readiness to help our servicemen and women, or join dating sites to take advantage of someone's affections.
"What you see is people posing as members of the military, sometimes our senior leaders, sometimes as an average soldier," explained Lisa Simunaci, with U.S. Army Materiel Command Public Affairs
They'll often claim to be injured, unable to afford a plane ticket home, or need money for medical costs. But these people are con artists.
"They don`t need satellite phones, they don`t need money for anything, they are provided anything they possibly need in order to do their jobs. So if someone is requesting that information from then that`s one instance you can identify it`s fraudulent," said CW3 Michael Brooks.
If you do meet someone online who seems to need your help, check their claims with someone who would know - like a current or former service member. Furthermore, any suspicious correspondence can be reported to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
They also offer a list of red flags that indicate you might be dealing with a scammer.