Join us at 1 p. 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.
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.
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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. Bryan Denny who, it just so happened, looked just like him.
Now, she was wondering where the hell he and her money had gone. Nearly accounts with his name and face popped up, each of them displaying his neatly-coiffed gray hair and steady smile. Many included shots of him with his son, while others used images of Denny with his comrades overseas.
The majority showed him in uniform during his final months of service.
A lump formed in his throat as he took in one doppelganger after another. Maybe millions. Although many of the fake accounts used his real name, others took on aliases to better cover their tracks, making it all but impossible to hunt them down. With his reputation and, increasingly, his sanity on the line, Denny knew he had to take action.
But he was a man used to battling insurgents in firefights, not nameless, distant hackers.
Apple products are especially popular. From an Air Force Public Affairs PSA: "A catfish is a person who pretends to be someone they're not, using social media to create a false identity with the intent of scamming someone, or worse.
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The perpetrators often operate within intricate networks; many originate in Nigeria or Ghana, where outreach tactics, compelling backstories, and conversation strategies have been turned into a science.
By sticking to a formula and passionately professing their desire for a new life with their targeted victims, the scammers disarm and beguile their prey with razor-sharp precision.
Jan 20, Dating websites like keitaiplus.com and eHarmony have normalized the experience of igniting an e-romance before actually meeting someone, . Jul 28, In Nigeria, the scammers are aided by plentiful internet access and fluency in English. There are also many willing teachers: In groups on Facebook . Jun 04, Bryan Denny's military photos are ubiquitous on scam social accounts. Fighting back has proven hard, even for the combat veteran. Although many of the fake .
Just as important, these illicit organizations have stockpiled pictures and personas to bolster the credibility of their fake accounts and reel in victims with ease. And yet, military romance scams are vastly underreported. Denny was astonished when he finally put the pieces together and realized what was happening. Opportunistic thieves, located oceans away, saw his service, patriotism and chiseled looks and saw a perfect piece of man candy to dangle in front of eager female suitors.
Denny suddenly saw how the deference, perks, and unadulterated praise soldiers receive in America could be exploited in terrible ways when love is on the table.
Stop communicating with him immediately. He may have stolen the identity of someone real. These scammers are professionals who know just how to tug your heartstrings.
The people behind military dating scams do not give up easily. Block their emails, their Facebook posts, their texts, their phone calls. So what can you do about a scammer? Unforutnately, there isn't much you can do. Scammers are frequently located overseas, limiting prosecution options U.
Spending your money - and more importantly the hours of your life - on a scam artist is not bringing you closer to love.
Mark your involvement with a scammer as a mistake and keep a sharp eye out the next time.
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pictures most frequently used by African scammers in military scams. the scammers are Africans from Nigeria and Ghana. People on the pictures are not associated with scammers in any way, they are just victims of identity theft. If you are contacted by somebody using these pictures on a dating site or a social network, you are being scammed. I am still hoping to experience dating one of them though I haven't met any. Just incase one of them is reading this she can PM me *winks* Re: Dating A Nigerian Female Soldier/officer (pics) by Lordkratus (m): pm On Jan 21, All military members have a ".mil" email address, so there is a high probability that a person is not in the military if they cannot provide one. Uses common spelling, grammatical or language errors.
Can You Spot the Scammer? Related Topics Family and Spouse.
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Met on a dating site. Lots of military members do use dating sites to meet people in their community. But you should know that bad guys use dating sites, too. They are trolling for women they can.
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.
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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.
Meet the scammers breaking hearts and stealing billions online - Four Corners
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.
If you're interested in learning more about military dating scams, Last time I checked we aren't on a lot of peacekeeping missions in Nigeria and Syria. And if we were, a real soldier wouldn't tell you that. The pictures they use many times on military IDs are so fake and it's so obvious. Real military ID pictures basically look. Jul 23, #1 Way To Verify He's Real: Ask For His Military Email Address. If you're questioning the person you met online who is claiming to be a soldier, there is one definite way to know for sure. Ask for his military email address. Every soldier has an official military . Outside the armed forces, misdeeds surrounding bogus military romances irritate Atlanta cybersecurity expert Lawrence Baldwin, chief intelligence officer for keitaiplus.com He says hotspots for online romance scammers include Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.