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. He reports every fake account he sees on Facebook, but new ones emerge faster than he can wipe them out. Denny is one of several soldiers whose photos have been used to create fake dating profiles amid a global surge in military romance fraud.
Love scammers swindle MILLIONS from vulnerable women by pretending to be US soldiers and widowers
Military combat isn’t the only battle service members are fighting. Those were the findings of a recent data analysis by Comparitech. The consumer technology website analyzed scam data through the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Below are the fraud schemes that have led to the steepest losses for military personnel, according to Comparitech.
In one notorious example, Colfax Capital Corp. Impostor scams can run the gamut from fake employers to fraudsters impersonating authority figures.
man was arrested for allegedly scamming dozens of people out of more than $2 million while posing as a soldier on online dating sites.
Federal investigators referenced this Instagram post in which Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, posed with a stack of cash held up to his ear like a cellphone. Authorities allege he duped people out of cash in an online romance scam. Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, is charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and will have a first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon, the U.
Sarpong and his co-conspirators, several of whom live in Ghana, ran the scheme starting in January until this week. They set up phony profiles on various online dating sites posing as U. In one of the scenarios, the scammers would then ask for money to ship gold bars they had recovered while stationed in Syria back to the United States, authorities said. There were no gold bars and the scammers kept the money, authorities said. The victims, who met the scammers via sites including Plenty of Fish, Ourtime.
What followed was an elaborate story about how she could help get the gold to the U. She was told her money would be returned once the gold arrived.
dating scams – Ghana Forum
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years. Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them.
This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money.
Military scams claim svictims every day. Are you one a military romance scam victim? Read more.
Be on the lookout for some of these operations that have fooled more than one person into giving money, personal information, and worse. Below in the following section you will find descriptions of scams that have been used on military members and their families in the past. But no matter what kind of con artist you encounter, there are some similar things you should watch out for that can alert you to a scam.
Pay close attention anytime someone you do not know does any of the following online or in person:. The Spanish Prisoner scam is a very old confidence trick that has been updated for the 21 st Century. The old-school version of this con trick was done face-to-face in many cases, but today the scam is run by people using social media. Then, the scammer contacts these people who assume their Facebook or Twitter friend simply opened up a new account. And that is because once you DO think about it, you may start to realize that there is something not quite right about the entire situation.
Report a Scam
Romance scammers are fleecing vulnerable Australian women out of millions of dollars by pretending to be US soldiers or heartbroken widowers looking for love. Romance scammers are pretending to be US military personnel to appeal to Australian victims. Experts say people are attracted to those in uniform like those above stock photo , plus it also gives the scammer an excuse to contact their victim at odd hours. CSCRC Senior Research Fellow Cassandra Cross military profiles were popular with scammers who use psychologically abusive tactics including gaslighting and isolation to target vulnerable older singles.
The year-old and his accomplices, who live in Ghana, fooled more than 30 people and made over $ million in a brazen dating scam that.
Clues for spotting fake profiles. One day Georgina received a friend request from a serviceman on peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan. She decided to accept the request and allowed ‘Jim’ to be her Facebook friend. Soon after befriending her, Jim told Georgina he had lost his wife to cancer and his story of looking after her was similar to her own experience when her husband had died of cancer.
S military was nearly finished. He sent me pictures which I now know were stolen from someone on the internet.
Online Dating Scam: ‘Military Guy’ Steals Widow’s Heart and Nearly $500,000
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.
It has become so widespread that the American military has issued a directive that soldiers make their social media accounts private, in an.
In short the immigration service was not involved and took it very personally that they were used in the scam. The police man assigned to protect me from the others is now one of my best friends and thought enough of me after all the crap I brought to their door step to introduce me to a woman that is a cousin of his wifes and we are now dating. What I should have done in the first place is go to Ghana on vacation and let it be known I was interested in a girlfriend and the whole country would have offered me their sisters.
It would have been cheaper. As it is I know all of the immigration officers and all of the police at the airport police station and there are no dishonest immigration officials or dishonest police investigators. The arrested man had bought a car with my money and the reduced his sentince if he signed it over to me and I agreed after the uncle pleaded with me to show mercy.
They released the man and is currently being watched to see if he will lead them to the rest of the gang and this the Ghana FBI is sure that there are others involved and experince has taught them its Nigerian men they have open borders and they cant keep them out of Ghana. I was told that at least 2 men getting off every plane that lands is being scamed. Go there it a great place to visit and a good place to invest in there future growth their economy is growing fast and there are good realestate investments, there are many honest business people there that are willing to help you from being ripped off.
The scenario you recount is a classic. American citizen, father dies and return home with the mother Ghana! There is a women and her name is Ester Denteh and she is from Ghana. We are having a great time on line.
Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.
Grey has been battling military-romance scams for about six years. “I’ve been cussed out several times,” he says, describing calls from women.
Military personnel and their families are attractive targets for scam artists and identity thieves. These criminals target service members for their steady paychecks and take advantage of their non-standard work schedules, length absences from home, frequent relocations, and duty assignments to remote locations.
They also prey on veterans and their families, taking advantage of their patriotism as well as their hard-earned government benefits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receives thousands of complaints each year from military consumers that deal with debt collection issues. The most common type of debt collection scam involves continued attempts to collect a debt not owed. Other types include false statements or misrepresentations about a debt, as well as debt collectors threating illegal action.
They may call superior officers, threaten a reduction in rank and state they are subject to a court-martial if the military consumer does not pay the debt. Some lenders will attempt to scam borrowers into paying an amount of money to them before the loan is granted. They take advantage of military members with bad to no credit history or would otherwise have difficulty qualifying for an affordable loan. Banks and other legitimate lenders generally evaluate creditworthiness and confirm information before they grant credit to anyone.
Victims who send money or personal information to the scammer often never receive the loan.
HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY DATE SAFELY ONLINE
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.
image captionScammers often pretend to be military men. You may well think you’d never fall for a romance scam, that they’re cheesy.
Your military friend or family member serves our country with integrity and honor. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who try to take advantage of that service to cheat them and you. You can help protect your service member against military scams by learning the warning signs of schemes that target those in the military community.
Unfortunately, these scams prey on fears about the coronavirus disease, trying to trick service members and family members into revealing sensitive information or donating money to a fraudulent cause. Bogus emails that look legitimate can offer fake alerts or information about the outbreak, fake workplace policy updates, or fake medical advice. By clicking on links in these emails, you could download malware or have your identity stolen.
There are safety measures you can take to protect yourself: Avoid clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails.
Women warned of scam soldier dating sites
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. Victims of these online military scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member. Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery.
“Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media platform, but they are not U.S. Soldiers.” Similar to the Spanish.
Avery Haines Investigative Correspondent, W5. I played along to try to get an inside look at the shadowy world of internet scammers. My game of cat fish – and-mouse with the man calling himself Oliver would have been entertaining, except for the fact that what he does is downright evil. I really wanna know you better hope we can be really close. Am always focused on my job. Oliver says he is a sergeant with the U.
If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough.
Military romance scams are used to con women out of thousands. Discover the warning signs before being a victim to these professional scammers. Read more.
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. There are also many willing teachers: In groups on Facebook and WhatsApp, they swap scripts for online chats with victims.