16, 2012) --- Special agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command are once again warning Internet users worldwide to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to Internet scams or impersonation fraud -- especially scams promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.
Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, continues to receive hundreds of reports from people worldwide of various scams involving persons pretending to be U. Soldiers serving in Afghanistan or elsewhere, according to CID special agents.
The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with American Soldiers, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away, they said. The perpetrators will often take the true rank and name of a U. Soldier who is honorably serving his country somewhere in the world, marry that up with some photographs of a Soldier off the Internet, and then build a false identity to begin prowling the Internet for victims, Grey said.
"We cannot stress enough that people need to stop sending money to persons they meet on the Internet and claim to be in the U. military," said Chris Grey, Army CID's spokesman. "We have even seen instances where the Soldier was killed in action and the crooks have used that hero's identity to perpetrate their twisted scam," said CID Special Agent Matthew Ivanjack, who has fielded hundreds of calls and emails from victims.
Larry Williams, and he was in Afghanistan from Fort Campbell.
He says he was deployed to Africa about three weeks ago, and kept asking about the money. His response was that he could not take the texting, so I said I guess that meant that we were over. You see, he is deployed and he needs my help financially or he cannot come home from downrange and see me for his R&R because he has to pay his fees. This man is the love of my life and I really want to be with him.
The scams include asking the victim to send money, often thousands of dollars at a time, to a third party address.
Each week, I get letters by email, on my website, by Twitter and on Facebook from women who are sending money to Africa and Afghanistan to help service members come home. These are not men who are in the United States military. I tried to raise the money but was making myself sick trying. I really need your help because I’m trying to help my Army guy from Fort Campbell.
Vicki, I met a sergeant in the Army on Facebook from the Zoosk dating site. He started asking me to send 0 for a secure phone line.
We’ve all gotten those emails that come from attractive strangers asking for help in a complicated situation or offering the greatest night of your life.
While these used to be overt — written in Comic Sans with loads of spelling errors and exclamation points — dating apps have made them harder to identify.