- 1. Check with the Soldier’s Command
- 2. Be Wary of Red Flags
Why It’s Important to Verify If a Soldier Is Real
It may seem unbelievable, but there are people out there who pretend to be soldiers for financial gain. Impostors use this scam to prey on vulnerable people who feel patriotic or have a soft spot for the military. They fake military identities to create a sense of trust, and they often ask for money or credit card details to access imaginary services. Since soldiers are often busy and may not have the time to communicate frequently, scammers take advantage of this opportunity.
It’s essential to verify whether a soldier is genuine or not to protect yourself against online fraud. In addition, many people out there are looking for love. These scammers use dating platforms to scam people into thinking that they are romantic partners, only to request money shortly afterward.
Scammers may also claim to be charities looking for donations. They start conversations talking about the charity and then ask for money. In recent years, there have been instances where fraudulent charities have exploited the public’s generosity by posing as charities supporting veterans. Verify whether or not the charity organization is legitimate before giving out any credit card information or personal details.
Therefore, it is crucial to check if a soldier is real before believing or engaging with them. By verifying their identity, you can avoid making emotional or financial decisions that you may later regret. You can also protect yourself from identity theft, credit card fraud, and other scams that can cause significant harm.
So, how do you check if a soldier is real? It’s effortless; just ask for their official identification or military email address. A soldier should be able to provide COP or EOMS capability, CAC, or AKO ID cards. If you are unsure of any of them, search for public records or government reports. If the soldier claims to be in a specific location, check the military base directory to confirm. In most cases, impostor soldiers will not be able to provide you with accurate information about their military background or provide any official identification proof.
Additionally, you may ask for a Skype video call or FaceTime chat with the soldier. Online scammers avoid face-to-face contact as much as possible. By requesting a face-to-face meeting, you can assess their facial and vocal expressions and, from there, make a more informed decision.
In conclusion, checking if a soldier is real is vital to protect yourself from financial fraud, identity theft, and emotional scams. Always ask for official identification or military email addresses, and if you’re unsure, perform a background check. You should be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages asking for money or personal details. And remember, always trust your instincts— if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Check with the Soldier’s Command
If you want to confirm the identity of a soldier, the easiest way is to contact their command directly. It’s important to understand that soldiers are bound by strict regulations that govern their use of social media. They’re not permitted to divulge sensitive information or correspond with people they don’t know. Therefore, it’s important to start with the official channels.
You should try to obtain as much information about the soldier as possible before contacting their command. This includes their full name, rank, unit, and the last known location or deployment. It’s also helpful to know their email address or social media handles, as this may aid in your search.
When contacting the soldier’s command, be courteous and professional. Explain that you have concerns about the soldier’s identity and that you’re seeking confirmation. Provide all the information you have and wait for their response.
If the response you receive confirms the soldier’s identity, then you can rest assured that you’re dealing with a true service member. If, however, the response indicates that the soldier is not in the U.S. military or that the information you provided is incorrect, you may need to look further into the situation.
Remember that it’s better to take precautions and verify a soldier’s identity than to fall victim to a deceitful individual. Checking with the soldier’s command is the most straightforward method, but it’s not the only one. You can also conduct an internet search for the soldier’s name, cross-reference their social media profiles, and ask for identification in a video call or through the mail.
In any case, remain vigilant and trust your instincts. When it comes to your safety, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Use Social Media Research
One of the easiest ways to determine if a soldier is real is by conducting social media research. Social media platforms have become one of the primary ways for people to connect and share their lives with friends and family. Soldiers are no exception. They use social media to keep in touch with their loved ones back home and update them about their deployment.
Start by searching for the name of the soldier on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other popular social media platforms. Look for profiles that include pictures of the soldier, their rank, and other military information. You can also check if their profile has links to other military websites such as the Department of Defense.
Once you’ve found a potential match, take a closer look at their profile. Look for inconsistencies or red flags that may indicate the profile is fake. Is the profile picture of a different person or stolen from another source? Are there spelling errors in the profile description? Does their account have a low number of friends or followers?
Another way to verify the authenticity of the soldier’s social media profile is by contacting them directly. Send them a message or leave a comment to ask about their military service, their rank, and deployment location. A real soldier will be able to provide specific and accurate information about their branch, unit, and mission.
However, keep in mind that not all soldiers may have social media profiles or they may choose not to share their information publicly. Some soldiers may also have strict security protocols that may limit their online activity. Be respectful and cautious in your social media research and do not violate any privacy rules or regulations.
Overall, social media research can be a helpful tool to verify a soldier’s authenticity. But always use your best judgment and verify all information through multiple sources before making any conclusions.
Confirm with Military Record Databases
One of the most reliable ways to check if a soldier is real is to verify their information with official military record databases. The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is one such database that contains the records of all active-duty and retired service members, as well as their family members.
To access this database, you will need to have certain information about the soldier, such as their full name, birthdate, Social Security Number (SSN), and branch of service. You can then perform an online search through the DEERS website or contact your local military personnel office for assistance.
Keep in mind that not all soldiers may be listed in the DEERS database, particularly if they are no longer serving or have recently enlisted. In such cases, you may need to use other methods to confirm their identity.
Another military record database that may be helpful is the Integrated Total Army Personnel Database (ITAPDB). This database is used by the Army to store personnel information for all active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers. You can access this database through the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) portal or by contacting the Army’s Human Resources Command (HRC).
Similar to DEERS, you will need to have certain information about the soldier to search for their records in ITAPDB. This may include their full name, date of birth, SSN, and other identifying details such as their rank or unit.
It’s important to note that while military record databases can provide valuable information about a soldier’s service history and identity, they may not be accessible to the general public. Access to these databases is typically restricted to authorized individuals, such as military personnel or government officials.
If you are unable to access these databases, or if the soldier you are trying to verify is not listed in them, there are other methods you can use to check their identity. These may include contacting their unit or commanding officer, requesting copies of their official military documents, or conducting a background check through a private investigation agency.
Be Wary of Red Flags
As you begin your search for determining the authenticity of a soldier, it’s important to be wary of various red flags. These warning signs can help you identify if the soldier is real or an imposter. Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for:
1. Asking for Money
One of the biggest red flags is a soldier asking for money. If they ask you for financial assistance or donations, then it’s likely that they are not a real soldier. Soldiers do not need to ask for money from civilians, and they should have access to their salary and benefits. Additionally, many scams involve individuals posing as soldiers and requesting money for various reasons, such as medical expenses or travel costs.
2. Requesting Personal Information
Another red flag is if the soldier asks for personal information, such as your home address or social security number. Soldiers do not need this information, and it could be used for identity theft or other fraudulent purposes. It’s important to protect your personal information and not share it with anyone you don’t trust.
3. Lack of Online Presence
A real soldier is likely to have some sort of online presence, such as social media profiles or a LinkedIn account. If the soldier you are speaking with has no online presence at all, this could be a red flag. While it’s possible that they simply don’t use social media or create online profiles, it’s worth investigating further to ensure that they are who they say they are.
4. Refusal to Provide Verification
If the soldier refuses to provide verification of their identity, such as a military ID or other documentation, this could be a red flag. Real soldiers should be willing and able to prove their identity and military status. While there may be legitimate reasons for not being able to provide verification, it’s important to ask questions and be cautious.
5. Inconsistencies in Story or Behavior
If the soldier’s story or behavior doesn’t quite add up, this could be a red flag. For example, if they claim to be in a certain location but their IP address indicates otherwise, or if they don’t know basic military terminology or protocol, this could be cause for concern. Pay attention to details and trust your instincts if something doesn’t seem right.
By keeping an eye out for these red flags, you can better determine if a soldier is real or not. It’s important to be cautious and ask questions, especially when it comes to providing personal information or financial assistance. Real soldiers should be able to provide verification of their identity and military status, so don’t hesitate to ask for proof if necessary.