I'm falling in love with a soldier in Afghanistan I met online – should I send him money?

DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE started messaging a general in the military who is based in Afghanistan.

He’s planning to move to London to be with me when he retires.

He has one daughter, who he wants to go with him. He refers to her as “our daughter”, so I know he is genuine.

But he is not allowed to call me or email me for security reasons. We have been able to communicate via an app and that’s when we make our plans.

He has asked me to send him some money so he can bring his possessions back from Afghanistan.

I’m 45 and he is 49. He is planning to retire this summer and then will come here to be with me. I am stuck in a boring relationship with a man who wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t come home.

This all feels just like the perfect timing.

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DEIDRE SAYS: I’m sorry but your general sounds far from genuine.

Scammers like this man prey on lonely, unhappy people and exploit them, usually for money.

The military would never expect its personnel to pay their own way back from a war zone – and any true person would never refer to their child as someone else’s after a few online messages.

You can find out more about scams like this one from Action Fraud (action fraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040).

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