Justice News

Justice News

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. Read more: From catfish to romance fraud, how to avoid getting caught in any online scam.

How to Spot the Signs of a Romance Scammer and Report Online Dating Scams

A growing epidemic in the world today is the online romance scam. Generally, a victim is contacted by someone online through various social media or a legitimate dating website. The victim and the scammer create an online relationship.

The romance scam. After her husband passed away, a year-old widow in North Carolina began using an online dating service for people.

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. I believe when we start talking on the phone that will be so much better.

Sadly, Oliver says, Kabul, Afghanistan has wonky internet, and because of the nature of his work, a video call is strictly forbidden.

How to spot online romance scams

For crying out loud, Jon Louis was even teaching a class on fraud when he got taken in — hook, line and sinker — by the dreaded internet species known as catfish. Looking back a year or so later the scam is obvious to him, but oh my, how joyful it was to feel his heart flutter again. It seemed like a reasonable investment in a long-term relationship. Victims are commonly between the ages of 40 and 69, but those over 70 lose the greatest amount of money to the cons, the FTC reports.

Be sure to protect your heart — and your money.

According to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, hundreds of women in the U.S. and overseas fall for fraudsters who pretend to be.

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. The real Bill Galbraith looked an awful lot like the Jeff Galbraith who had friended Watts on Facebook — that guy stuck in Syria with a thing for video games.

Fighting back: ‘Champions’ needed to block military romance scams. Military romance scams proliferate throughout the military. This story explores possible solutions, including whether the law should be changed to make online providers such as Facebook more responsible and responsive in removing fraudulent accounts.

Army reservists accused of $3 million-worth of romance and business scams

Army Criminal Investigation Command CID receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U. Soldier online. Soldier who then began asking for money for various false service-related needs. Victims of these scams can lose tens of thousands of dollars and face a slim likelihood of recovering any of it.

Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media platform, but they are not U. To perpetrate this scam, the scammers take on the online persona of a current or former U.

Information The “Soldier” then begins asking for money for various FALSE, service-related needs such as transportation costs, communication fees, marriage, processing and medical fees. Victims of these.

She wants to use the social media network to inspire young women, but cybercriminals using her photos to engage in “romance scams” have made Vlastuin consider deleting her online presence. Sherri Vlastuin, Instagram popularity came quickly — and at a price. Vlastuin, 26, has used the social media network since to document her life as an Army combat medic at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, her home state.

One post — a selfie after her graduation from Air Assault School two years ago — suddenly elevated her page. Romance scams are part of a new page report released Tuesday by Vietnam Veterans of America, which has spent the past two years on a study of online trolls and their tendency to target veterans and servicemembers.

Some expect her to repay them, others seek the same relationship with her that they believed they had with the impostor. She said she has reported hundreds of the fake accounts to Instagram and Facebook, but they continue to multiply.

‘It’s been hell’: How fraudsters use handsome soldiers to prey on lonely hearts over the holidays

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.

You can help your service member guard against military scams by helping Many payday loan companies operate online and advertise “fast cash” and “no Your friend or family member says they have “met someone” on a dating app.

Estimated reading time is 6 minutes. Do you have suspicions that a friend or family member is involved in a romance scam? Do you ever wonder why people fall for romance scams? While this figure may seem high, this is just what gets reported; many victims never make a report due to fear or embarrassment. She found she could join groups and play games via the social media channel. This interaction was the start of what Grace thought was an exciting new romance.

Over the next 18 months, the person claiming to be Malcom James drew Grace into what she thought was a loving relationship. It was in fact a scam leading to a series of escalating requests for money. We would speak every day. I just fell completely in love with him and we were soon discussing how we would build a life together once he was out of the Army.

He said he was happy to move to Australia as he was a trained accountant, so he would easily get a job here. He said his accounts and credit cards had been shut down due to a computer issue, so he needed me to send a wire transfer to Nigeria where he had been transferred. He was meant to be getting a big payout from the Army due to an injury, so I knew he was good for it. I just wanted to do anything I could to get him here.

How I catfished my catfisher: a W5 investigation into romance scams

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.

Online romance scams are a modern form of fraud that has spread in Western societies along with the development of social media and dating.

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. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.

Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances. The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive. In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money.

In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. The scammer then reveals their true identity.

HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY DATE SAFELY ONLINE

Attorneys representing Kyle Rittenhouse say he was wrongfully charged after ‘acting in self-defense’. Recognize Me? The fake and real faces of scammers. Scam Haters United blog compiled photos of real scammers and the profiles they use to target people online. This scammer uses the account “Christian Onyeakporo” to scam women.

Cybercriminals target military online to set up impostor ‘romance scams’. Sherri Vlastuin, an Army combat medic based at Fort Leonard Wood.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.

Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance

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.

Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.

Photograph: iStock. The pair were in touch for around a month before things took a romantic turn. She truly believed this man was genuine as she had found a profile online that matched his details. Chief Supt Walls said the second case involved a woman from north down in a case notified to the police on Sunday. Chief Supt Walls said that sadly these two women they will not get their money back as they gave it to the fraudsters voluntarily. Unfortunately, there is no end to the methods fraudsters will use to dupe people into giving them money.

Look out for someone asking lots of questions, but not giving any detail about themselves.

I fell in love with a military man online! (not so fast)


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