Embassy Kabul frequently receives inquiries from people who have been victimized by Internet scammers. These scams are attempts by con artists to convince you to send them money by developing a friendship, romance or business partnership online, and then exploiting that relationship to ask for money. The most common scam we see involves calls, texts, or social media messages Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Kik, dating apps, etc from a person claiming be a U. Armed Forces, a military contractor, a U. Embassy diplomat, or an employee of an international aid organization. These con artists are very convincing and troll the Internet for potential victims, spending weeks or months to build a relationship. Scammers can be very clever and deceptive, creating sad and believable stories that will make you want to send them money. After the person receives the money, they disappear and do not respond to messages.
Online Dating Scammers Pose as U.S. Military Personnel
I have to tell you, this is the one that really got my heart going because I really do cherish our soldiers,” Joan Romano, a scam victim said. Joan Romano says she fell hard and fast for the fantasy, believing the man in these photos was a U. She claims he contacted her through the dating website Match. Amy, a staff sergeant in Afghanistan. I told him I want to see a picture of him in Afghanistan and this is what I got,” Romano said.
Few details of their military service were released in the document, and while the romance scams they were allegedly engaged in targeted elderly.
Bryan Denny’s military photos are ubiquitous on scam social accounts. Fighting back has proven hard, even for the combat veteran. Recently retired after serving more than two and a half decades in the Army, including deploying as part of Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, Denny had expected to encounter some uncomfortable situations in his transition to civilian life.
But as they exchanged messages, he came to a more troubling realization: for several months, the woman had been in a full-fledged online relationship with a Col. Bryan Denny who, it just so happened, looked just like him. Now, she was wondering where the hell he and her money had gone. Nearly accounts with his name and face popped up, each of them displaying his neatly-coiffed gray hair and steady smile.
Many included shots of him with his son, while others used images of Denny with his comrades overseas. The majority showed him in uniform during his final months of service. A lump formed in his throat as he took in one doppelganger after another. Maybe millions. Although many of the fake accounts used his real name, others took on aliases to better cover their tracks, making it all but impossible to hunt them down.
With his reputation and, increasingly, his sanity on the line, Denny knew he had to take action. But he was a man used to battling insurgents in firefights, not nameless, distant hackers.
New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating sites, prosecutors say
Check out this video about how to spot and protect yourself from romance scams. Then share it with your friends. But there are steps you can take — and then tell someone about. So watch the video, learn more , and pass it on.
Typically, once a connection is made, the correspondent (who may claim that they are an active duty military service member) may ask the U.S. citizen to send.
By Amanda Williams for MailOnline. Tosin Femi Olasemo, 37, was allowed into Britain on a student visa, where he set up a Match. The women believed heroic Captain Morgan Travis was on the lonely hearts website looking for love. But a court heard it was Nigerian-born Olasemo, 37, who used a picture of a soldier wearing full military uniform as his profile picture. Prosecutor Ruth Smith said money soon started spiralling into a fortune after he had ‘brainwashed’ women into believing they were in a real relationship.
Olasemo claimed he was stationed at Camp Joyce, a remote base in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, where about U. Police contacted the United States military to try and work out who the soldier was – but they were unable to identify him. Ms Smith said: ‘He conducted an online dating fraud exploiting lonely and vulnerable women by pretending he was an American soldier in Afghanistan to get money.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Olasemo’s main victim was Tine Jorgensen, 47, from Denmark, who had two children and was recently widowed. In May her husband died and by December she had signed up to Match.
The United Nations strongly recommends that the recipients of solicitations, such as those described above exercise extreme caution in respect of such solicitations. Financial loss and identity theft could result from the transfer of money or personal information to those issuing such fraudulent correspondence. Victims of such scams may also report them to their local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.
Welcome to the United Nations.
Foreign victims often fall for the scam, and really do think a U.S. soldier stole their money. Military Members and Romance Scams.
Add as much identifying information as you have. Put all of this in another envelope and address it to the nearest VA Regional Office. You can also find a list of other resources that may be able to help you find a veteran. You may be able to verify a person’s active duty status on a given date.
Online love asking for money? It’s a scam.
The internet has revolutionized the world of dating, but it is also a new breeding ground for scams. In the latest twist, reported on the next episode of CNBC’s ” American Greed ,” con artists are exploiting Americans’ respect for the military. Army Criminal Investigation Command. I’m a widower.
Afghanistan soldier dating scams. Scam where fraudsters pose as military romance scams. Internet romance scammers who impersonate claims to scammers.
Jane Watts became suspicious when the Army officer she friended on Facebook started asking for things. The Charlottesville resident, who had recently separated from her husband, accepted a friend request from a soldier named Jeff Galbraith. He seemed nice online, and it offered the chance to meet someone new. After two months, he asked for a care package to make life easier in Syria, where he was stationed. He wanted blankets, candy, a PS3, deodorant, a toothbrush and other things.
Instead, she bought the other items at the Dollar Store and sent along a more reasonable care package, minus a video game console. Jeff Galbraith wanted more. It told the story of Col. Galbraith is still serving there and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought.
We’re going to be happy together. You’re the woman of my dreams. To make matters worse, she was recently laid off from her job as a financial analyst after 17 years with the same company. Her house is in foreclosure and she’s declared bankruptcy. That was when Ortiz-Rodeghero discovered a website called seniorpeoplemeet.
promising email on the dating site The man told her that he was a U.S. Air Force pilot deployed to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim’s heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal.
What’s especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U. The scammers are exploiting people’s good intentions toward our men and women in uniform, and exploit their goodwill. Not only does this kind of fraud hurt the victim, but it damages the reputation of the United States Military member.
Foreign victims often fall for the scam, and really do think a U. Someone who pretends to be a sailor, soldier, airman, or Marine looking for love but really is looking for cash will count on you not investigating them too deeply. This is where you can get the upper hand. Here are a few cautionary measures to try and protect yourself against these scams if you decide to try to find love online. First, avoid giving out your personal information and pictures to someone you don’t know.
The person could be from any part of the world and could use your personal information and images to impersonate or even blackmail you.
Fake soldier from ‘US Army in Afghanistan’ defrauded women of £400,000
From midnight until dawn most days, Tracee Douglas sits in the garden of her Bundaberg home with her iPad in her lap, and her iPhone and cigarettes beside her. With only the knock-knock-knock of geckos for company, she scours the web for clinching evidence to convince women who are sending money to “soldiers” abroad that the men they love are fakes. She’s lost count of the number of scams she has stopped since setting up her private Facebook page, “Military Scams: The Fight Back”, but they’re likely to be in the thousands.
A woman on a mission, Douglas tries to grab as much sleep as she can during the day – she gets by on a part-time job – shuttering her home against the harsh Queensland heat and glare. Douglas, 49, set up her Facebook page more than a year ago, after a friend bluntly told her she could either “lie down and die, or fight back”.
In April, Army Criminal Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams in which online predators go on dating sites claiming to.
Attorney Craig Carpenito. The following details from this case were taken from court documents and statements:. The most common story used by Sarpong and his conspirators was that they were military personnel stationed in Syria who were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many of the victims their money would be reimbursed once the gold bars arrived in the United States.
In one case, a conspirator claimed he was a U. He sent her a fictitious airway bill showing that two trunks with “family treasure” would be sent to her, along with a fake United Nations Identity Card that identified him as an Israeli citizen and UN delivery agent. The next day she died by suicide. Authorities say Sarpong and his conspirators used various email accounts and Voice Over Internet protocol phone numbers to communicate with the victims and instruct them where to wire money.
Authorities say the funds were then withdrawn in cash, wired to other domestic bank accounts and wired to conspirators in Ghana. According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Sarpong was active on social media and “bragged about his wealth. Authorities say on March 2, , Sarpong posted a photograph of himself sitting in a car with a large stack of money up to his ear like a cellphone with a caption that read “WakeUp With k
The War Vet, the Dating Site, and the Phone Call From Hell
Yet, many are asking, how do I know if a soldier is real? Well, first of all, many people say that if you have to question it , you probably already know the answer. Still, far too many people fall into this trap and delude themselves into thinking that they love this person and that this could never happen to them.
Any official military or government emails will end We recommend that you visit the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
It really wasn’t much of an exchange. Jared Johns had met a young woman on a dating site , swapped messages, and sent her a photo of himself in a baseball cap. She’d responded with one of herself, lying down in a lacy bra. Jared grinned as he typed out a message on his iPhone’s scuffed screen. They swapped a few more messages; she asked Jared how old he was and he told her he was Then he pocketed his phone and got on with his day.
That brief conversation turned out to be the worst mistake of Jared’s life. In their exchange, Jared sent a photo of himself in a baseball cap; in return, he got a photo of an attractive young woman. Jared had wanted to be a soldier ever since he was 7.