Think twice before falling for that hot soldier stationed in Iraq, says the U.S. Army—especially if you met him on a dating website.
It’s rather easy to spot and avoid those Nigerian-prince email scams, but hundreds of women have been falling prey to this more sophisticated “romance scam,” reports Jezebel.
In this type of plot, thieves take on the identities of actual servicemen based in Iraq or Afghanistan, grab a couple photos off the Internet of said soldier, and go to work scamming on social media based dating sites. The scammers start building relationships with women online, eventually asking them for money after wooing them and gaining their sympathy and trust. One woman fell so hard she sent $127,000 to her supposed military love.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) has issued several memos about the situation, including one last month, warning citizens to be “extra vigilant” and not fall for these impersonation frauds, “especially scams promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.”
Victims tend to be unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old and the scammers are usually based in African countries and go to great lengths to make their email addresses untraceable and route accounts around the world. After manipulating their victim’s emotions, the scammer will ask for money in some rather creative ways: money to buy “leave papers,” to cover medical expenses, for a flight home to see their fake lover in person.
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