The US Department of Justice DOJ on Thursday unsealed a count, page federal indictment charging 80 defendants — most of them Nigerian nationals — with conspiring to steal millions of dollars through online frauds that targeted businesses, the elderly and women. Federal authorities cited the case of one of those romance-scam victims during a news conference on Thursday. Over the course of 10 months, Garcia described in daily emails his scheme to smuggle diamonds out of the country. She began crying when discussing the way that these losses have affected her. The indictment was unsealed after law enforcement arrested 14 defendants across the US, with 11 of those arrests taking place around Los Angeles. Two of the defendants were already in federal custody on other charges, and one was arrested earlier last week. The hunt is still on for most of the remaining defendants, who are believed to be abroad — mostly in Nigeria.
Internet Scams Warning
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.
Roses don’t cut it when online dating experience turns out to be a scam Afghanistan, the year-old Army soldier was returning to Baltimore.
Army Criminal Investigation Command CID receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U. Soldier online. Soldier who then began asking for money for various false service-related needs. Victims of these scams can lose tens of thousands of dollars and face a slim likelihood of recovering any of it. Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media platform, but they are not U.
To perpetrate this scam, the scammers take on the online persona of a current or former U. Soldier, and then, using photographs of a Soldier from the internet, build a false identity to begin prowling the web for victims. The most common scheme involves criminals, often from other countries — most notably from West African countries — pretending to be U. Soldiers serving in a combat zone or other overseas location.
These crooks often present documents and other “proof” of their financial need when asking their victims to wire money to them. Such scams, when they involve dating sites, pose a unique challenge in the fight against impostors and identity thieves, because on such sites a dating profile is often required to conduct a search for fake accounts. In addition, it is not possible to remove dating site profiles without legitimate proof of identity theft or a scam.
Love me don’t: the West African online scam using US soldiers
Here is a long email which is certainly a Nigerian Scam and should be deleted. Often these scams are in the name of military personnel, in order to impress the reader. It is typical in that it aims to obtain a sympathetic response from the reader with the objective of obtaining money. Clearly it is a scam and is NOT from the person it purports to be. I want you to help me and buy property for my family and as well invest on real estate in your country and that is why I contacted you.
Based on the suffering we undergo here some of us do meet such luck.
5 Things to Know About Military Romance Scams on Facebook Taliban prisoners at Bagram Military Base in Afghanistan before being.
By Jack Nicas. The married year-old had driven two hours from Delaware to pick him up. Their blossoming online friendship had prompted her to send him a care package and thousands of dollars in gift cards. Now she was looking for a buff, tattooed man in uniform, just like in his Facebook photos. But his flight was not on the airport arrivals board. From there, Ms. Holland said, it was a daze. She drove to a strip mall, bought sleeping pills and vodka, and downed them. The man in the Facebook pictures had no idea who Ms.
Online dating scam: fraudsters pose as American soldiers
Nowadays, you have to be cautious of everything you do online. Scammers are always trying to get money, goods or services out of unsuspecting people — and military members are often targets. Here are some scams that have recently been affecting service members, Defense Department employees and their families. In April, Army Criminal Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams in which online predators go on dating sites claiming to be deployed active-duty soldiers.
See photos, profile pictures and albums from Military Romance Scams.
Here you can find our latest blog posts and stay updated on Cell Phones For Soldiers activities via our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Follow our recent activity and get involved any way you can. We are always posting new information to help veterans and servicemen and women both home and abroad. The moment a serviceman or woman surprises their kids, their spouse, their parents, or even.
They saw a need—learning in about. On Monday, November 11, we honor all. USCG Statio…. RT starsandstripes: The remains of seven Marines and a USNavy sailor, who died on July 30 when an amphibious assault vehicle sank off the….
The War Vet, the Dating Site, and the Phone Call From Hell
After years of bad luck with dating, she, like millions of people across the globe, started using online dating sites to meet new people. A few years ago, she received what appeared to be a promising email on the dating site Match. The man told her that he was a U. Air Force pilot deployed to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.
thought she was corresponding with a captain in the US Army captain, “Capt. Terry Garcia”, who was stationed in Syria. Over the course of
On Facebook and Instagram, there are lottery scams , celebrity impostors and even fake Mark Zuckerbergs. There is also a scheme where scammers pose as American service members to cheat vulnerable women out of their savings. To find victims, they search Facebook groups for targets — often single women and widows — and then message hundreds, hoping to hook a few. Once they have a potential mark, the scammers shift the conversations with their victims to Google Hangouts or WhatsApp, messaging services owned by Google and Facebook, in case Facebook deletes their accounts.
For months or weeks, they try to seduce the women with sweet talk and promises of a future together. Eventually, they ask for money. When victims send funds, they often do so via wire transfers or iTunes and Amazon gift cards, which the scammers sell at a discount on the black market. Internet scammers arrived with the dial-up modem years ago, conning people in chat rooms and email inboxes.
Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought.
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.
Military Dating Scams Afghanistan. Iraq in serving currently Soldiers Afghanistan, Soldier, U be to claiming persons with corresponding when caution with.
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.
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.
And yet, military romance scams are vastly underreported. for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which he commanded in Afghanistan), he’s come to.
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. He told her he was serving in Camp Joyce and sent her a picture of a soldier with the name ‘Travis’ embroidered on his military jacket.
Ms Smith said: ‘She began talking to him over the video service Yahoo Messenger but he informed her he couldn’t send live video of himself due to security risks in Afghanistan – something she accepted.
The American Greed Report: The latest twist in dating scams will make your blood boil
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.
Con artists scam is an online dating website or those who facebook from nigeria. So much so that issued the military gear from the military romance scammers use emotional appeals to support the soldier Military dating scams afghanistan.
AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. Hundreds of times a day, women here and overseas complain about being scammed by con artists posing as U. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Grey has made it a personal crusade to warn the public about the online scams that are using men in uniform as bait to reel in women who hand over cash in the name of love. Most of the victims are women in the U. The 2,person command Grey serves is in Quantico, Va.
Thus it lacks jurisdiction to probe the barrage of incoming calls, since the service personnel are not victimized beyond having their names and photos misappropriated. Still, what Grey likens to a game of whack-a-mole has become a priority for him as he battles the problem through public education and media outreach.