‘It broke my heart:’ The cruelty of military romance scams

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.

Online Scammer profiles/Fake military scammers

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.

Watch Out for Romance Scammers. Beware of people pretending to be military members on social media and dating websites. These scammers.

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. Now Facebook and Instagram provide fraudsters with greater reach and resources, enabling them to more convincingly impersonate others and more precisely target victims.

Officials from the United States military and the F. When The Times followed the trail of one scam, it led to Nigeria, where six men said in interviews that they swindled Westerners over the internet because it paid far more than honest work, which they said was hard to find. In Nigeria, the scammers are aided by plentiful internet access and fluency in English.

Military Scams | Common Tricks & How to Avoid Them

Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military.

Oliver says he is a sergeant with the U.S. military, on a top secret, undercover mission in Afghanistan. Very quickly, Oliver starts calling me “.

A US Military worker, assigned overseas, got a box of gold bars from a tribal warlord and needs help shipping them back to the United States. Being far from you is not that easy, Honey. It sometimes drives me crazy and makes me want to be with you at this very instant. Thank you for everything … for loving me I mean it, Honey. Well there is something i will like to tell you, which really makes me uncomfortable and even insecure here now in Afghanistan. So I was rewarded with the package…I told my self not to tell anyone this, but I feel unsafe and insecure..

Online dating scam: fraudsters pose as American soldiers

Finally, they claim to be a U. Army Soldier; however, their English and grammar do not match scam internet someone born and raised in the United States. Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in money investigations. Email: spam uce. The Army is a key component of the U.

Military romance scams are used to con women out of thousands. who are sending money to Africa and Afghanistan to help service members come home.

Two Army reservists have been accused of coordinating a fraud scheme involving business email compromises and romance scams against elderly women, according to a federal complaint in the Southern District Court of New York. Joseph I. Asan Jr. Ogozy, both of whom enlisted in the Army Reserve in February , were arrested Oct.

An FBI agent said in the complaint that Asan and Ogozy defrauded victims and laundered their proceeds through bank accounts they had opened in the names of fake businesses. The publication Quartz noted that only Asan has been indicted and some of the court records indicate Ogozy might be cooperating with investigators. Few details of their military service were released in the document, and while the romance scams they were allegedly engaged in targeted elderly women , the schemes did not appear to invoke their military service to help their cause.

The two men would gain unauthorized access to business email accounts or spoof emails and impersonate employees of a company in order to convince victims to transfer funds to bank accounts they controlled, the FBI agent said in the complaint.

Nigerian scam in the name of Capt. John Kelly Afghanistan

Romano, 53, from Lynbrook, N. On the advice of friends, she joined Match. She soon found herself chatting online with a man named “Austin Miller. When Miller sent her a picture of himself in uniform, Romano was impressed.

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​.

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. It happened that I went for this raid with the men in my unit and I decided to take it as my share for my stress here in this evil land filled with suicide bombers. I deposited this money with a Red Cross agent informing him that we are making contact for the real owner of the money.

It is under my power to approve whoever comes forth for this money. I need someone I could deal with. If you accept, I will transfer the money to where you will be the beneficiary because I am a uniformed person and i cannot be parading such an amount so I need to present someone as the beneficiary. I just need your acceptance and all is done.

The War Vet, the Dating Site, and the Phone Call From Hell

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. I’m raising a five-year-old girl. And they play on the emotions of the victims.

No one is scams to request leave on behalf of a Soldier. A general Military name is Sgt. Larry Williams, dating he was in Afghanistan from Fort Campbell.

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.

The U. Embassy strongly cautions against sending money to persons whom you have not met personally prior to their purported travel to Afghanistan. For actual emergencies involving a U. Embassy American Citizen Services section for assistance. Footer Disclaimer This is the official website of the U. Embassy in Afghanistan.

How can I tell if I’m the victim of a military romance scam?

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. At years-old, Exposto had fallen for a widowed special forces soldier doing his bit for his country. They have never met, which was easily explained — he was deployed in Afghanistan. Exposto recently walked free after facing a death sentence in Malaysia for attempting to smuggle a kilogram of ice five years ago.

Since she was caught, she has maintained she was a victim of a romance scam.

Miller identified himself as a decorated soldier based in Kabul, Afghanistan. When Miller sent her a picture of himself in uniform, Romano was.

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. Retired U. Army Col. The year-old husband and father spent half his life in the military. They use his photos to pose as soldiers on Facebook and dating sites, where they trick women into surrendering thousands of dollars in cash and gift cards in the name of love. Set boundaries and recognize red flags.

MIlitary facts and what a fake profile might be telling you