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Sick death threats have been sent to a British soldier by heartbroken women who have been conned online.
Steven Kelly, 35, said his snaps have been stolen by scammers who use them to catfish lonely singles.
Many have fallen for the ploy – and have been duped out of thousands of pounds.
But Steven, from Liverpool, who is in the 29 Commando Regiment, no longer has sympathy.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star, he explained: “It is not my fault women are getting scammed.
“It is an absolute nightmare and it p****s me off. Some women have been vile towards me when they’ve found out the truth.
“I’ve had death threats and people ringing my missus and threatening her…
“People have contacted my girlfriend saying they’ve been in a relationship with me for five months and I’ve taken £10,000 from them and if we don’t give it back they will come over from America and shoot us.."
Steven, who has served in Afghanistan and been in the British Army for nearly 20 years, said the abuse was taking its toll.
He is due leave the Army in four years and has his own survival company, South West Survival.
But furious con victims won’t leave him alone.
He said: “Every time I go on Instagram live to talk about the business, someone will comment saying I was meant to move to Australia and why am I not answering my calls.
“I am sitting next to my partner and it just breaks me.
“I’m trying to build a reputation for my survival work but I get destroyed on a daily basis and my profile gets shared saying this man is a scammer.
“Some women have apologised and taken it back but others are vile and drag my name through the dirt.”
He said it first started happening when he appeared on a TV show called No Time to Lose .
Since then, the harassment has been relentless – especially in the last two years.
“My partner gets massively down about it while I’m starting to get numb to it,” he added.
Some women have asked him to put his Instagram page, which has 32,000 followers, on private.
But he claimed he needs it public to be able to run his business properly.
Steven then offered the following advice to women looking for love on the internet.
“No soldier needs money to come home,” he said.
“Some of the story lines the scammers say is that my daughter has cancer and I need cash but these women are just throwing money away.
“Also, we don’t need money to go on leave so don’t fall for these stories. With technology now you can video call someone and if they reply to say they are on a mission they are absolutely lying.”
Steven has an automated reply on his Instagram apologising to the victims and asking them to report the scammer’s page.
However, he said some women have still tried to chat him up despite learning the truth.
He said: “When it first started happening I sympathised but not any more because once you start being nice the messages just keep coming and coming and I don’t have time for it.
“Some say ‘oh I would love to get to know the real you’ and when I don’t reply they say I’m absolutely pathetic and I should be letting people know about the scam which I do anyway.
“If they are stupid enough to fall for it, that’s their problem. I used to but I’ve got no empathy any more.”
Steven, who teaches survival skills, originally joined the army aged 16.
He explained: “I was a bit of a scally back in Liverpool and my dad pushed me into it.
“We used to watch a programme called Solider Soldier and he said 'you’ll never be able to do that' and I wanted to prove him wrong so I joined.
“And 19 years later I’m still here.”
- British Army
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