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"It is very troubling to hear these stories over and over again of people who have sent thousands of dollars to someone they have never met and sometimes have never even spoken to on the phone," Grey said. The scams often involve carefully worded romantic requests for money from the victim to purchase special laptop computers, international telephones, military leave papers, and transportation fees to be used by the fictitious "deployed Soldier" so their false relationship can continue.
Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, are once again warning internet users worldwide about cyber criminals involved in an online crime that CID has dubbed "the Romance Scam." CID special agents continue to receive numerous reports from victims located around the world regarding various scams of persons impersonating U. "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. The perpetrators will often take the true rank and name of a U. Soldier who is honorably serving his country somewhere in the world, or has previously served and been honorably discharged, then 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.
To date, there have been no reports to Army CID indicating any U. service members have suffered any financial loss as a result of these attacks. "Another critical issue is we don't want victims who do not report this crime walking away and thinking that a U. serviceman has ripped them off when in fact that serviceman is honorably serving his country and often not even aware that his pictures or identity have been stolen," said Grey. Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees.
Carefully check out the stories you are being told.
The first F-35B delivered to the British Royal Air Force was joined by two USMC F-35Bs at the RIAT (Royal International Air Tattoo) at RAF Fairford, and they put on a nice demonstration - not only of the F-35's maneuverability, but also the B-variants ability to land vertically.
If you do start an internet-based relationship with someone, check them out, research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member.
"We've even seen where the criminals said that the Army won't allow the Soldier to access their personal bank accounts or credit cards," said Grey. "These perpetrators, often from other countries, most notably from West African countries, are good at what they do and quite familiar with American culture, but the claims about the Army and its regulations are ridiculous," said Grey. Another victim from Great Britain told CID officials that over the course of a year, she had sent more than ,000 to the con artists. has established numerous task force organizations to deal with this and other growing issues; unfortunately, the people committing these scams are using untraceable email addresses on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc., routing accounts through numerous locations around the world, and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes, which often times maintain no accountability of use.
The Army reports that numerous very senior officers and enlisted Soldiers throughout the Army have had their identities stolen to be used in these scams. "The criminals are preying on the emotions and patriotism of their victims," added Grey. The ability of law enforcement to identify these perpetrators is very limited, so individuals must stay on the alert and be personally responsible to protect themselves.
When in reality, the entire exchange is a ruse for the crook to get the wire transfer and leave the buyer high and dry, with no vehicle.
Army CID continues to warn people to be very suspicious if they begin a relationship on the internet with someone claiming to be an American Soldier and within a matter of weeks, the alleged Soldier is asking for money, as well as discussing marriage.