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

Recognize Me? The fake and real faces of scammers

Attorney Craig Carpenito. The following details from this case were taken from court documents and statements:. The most common story used by Sarpong and his conspirators was that they were military personnel stationed in Syria who were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many of the victims their money would be reimbursed once the gold bars arrived in the United States.

In one case, a conspirator claimed he was a U.

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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:.

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

In a tech-savvy world, it is common for couples to meet online through dating websites or apps. Unfortunately, not everyone joining these dating platforms is looking for true love. The frequency of online romances has caught the attention of fraudsters who manipulate people seeking companionship through romance scams. Fraudsters operating romance scams have recently taken to posing as members of the armed forces to lure their victims into a romance with what they believe to be a soldier.

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating apps or social media sites For example, you could do a search for “oil rig scammer” or “US Army scammer.

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. Soldier, and then, using photographs of a Soldier from the internet, build a false identity to begin prowling the web for victims. The most common scheme involves criminals, often from other countries — most notably from West African countries — pretending to be U.

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

Embassy Kabul frequently receives inquiries from people who have been victimized by Internet scammers. These scams are attempts by con artists to convince you to send them money by developing a friendship, romance or business partnership online, and then exploiting that relationship to ask for money. The most common scam we see involves calls, texts, or social media messages Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Kik, dating apps, etc from a person claiming be a U. Armed Forces, a military contractor, a U.

Embassy diplomat, or an employee of an international aid organization. These con artists are very convincing and troll the Internet for potential victims, spending weeks or months to build a relationship.

Catfishing during coronavirus: How an old internet scam still tricks people in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and serves as a chaplain bodyguard in the U.S. Navy. began creating social media and online dating profiles in the early s. such as members of the military, veterans and other professionals.

Most of the defendants are Nigerians, the Associated Press reported. Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. Army captain in his efforts to smuggle himself and his friends out of Syria. The woman met him online and had been emailing for 10 months. There was no such army captain. Romance-related scams are now the most costly form of online fraud, the Federal Trade Commission warned earlier this year. In many of these scenarios, people are convinced by strangers they meet online — often on dating apps — to fork over money.

New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating sites, prosecutors say

Do you have questions about your vision health? 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.

In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. Intimate Activity Scams. Here, victims are contacted by.

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. This is a fake account using photos of Dr.

Maximilian Krah. Andrew H. William is a fake profile using photos of Dr. Fernandez Gomes Pinto. Every profile under the name “Galbraith” online is fake. Ajay is one example of someone who uses the profile. This man poses as Prince Hamdan Fazza and asks people for money for “charity” online. Once he receives the money he keeps it for himself.

Six Scams to Be Wary of in 2020

The U. Armed Forces and they have been asked to send this service member money. In many cases, the money has already been sent and the inquirer is seeking to verify if this is standard practice in the U. Armed Forces.

The irony of it all was that this so called “US military personnel stationed in Iraq” was a Nigerian man based in Malaysia. I have surely learnt my.

District Court in Providence, R. It is alleged in Court documents that beginning in May , victims were contacted by scammers via online dating sites such as Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, and Our Time, and through social media platforms such as Words with Friends, often times feigning romantic intentions. The perpetrators of the scams gained the trust of their victims through any number of fraudulent representations, eventually convincing them to send money to bank accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy.

To date, 28 individuals in more than a dozen states have been identified as falling victim to the scams allegedly employed by the five individuals named in the charged conspiracy. United States Attorney Aaron L. Scammers will confuse, lie to, and steal from their victims with total disregard for the financial and emotional ruins they leave behind.

The Department of Justice and federal, state, and local law enforcement have made it a priority to root out such scammers and hold them accountable. Cronin of the U. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting our citizens and working hard to seek prosecution of scammers who take advantage of our elders. Army in Afghanistan, and whom she met online on Words with Friends.

No, this Virginia Beach sailor doesn’t want your love or money. It’s a scam, and he’s a victim too.

Two Army reservists have been accused of coordinating a fraud scheme involving business email compromises and romance scams against elderly women, according to a federal complaint in the Southern District Court of New York. Joseph I. Asan Jr. Ogozy, both of whom enlisted in the Army Reserve in February , were arrested Oct. An FBI agent said in the complaint that Asan and Ogozy defrauded victims and laundered their proceeds through bank accounts they had opened in the names of fake businesses.

Military romance scammers stole $ using Bryan Denny’s face. Now, the former U.S. soldier is fighting back against his ‘evil’ online.

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.

ARMY SOCIAL MEDIA

Please enable JavaScript in your web browser; otherwise some parts of this site might not work properly. Sadly, millions of Americans are targeted by scammers every year. The most common, imposter scams, involve individuals pretending to be someone of trust to get money or personal information from a victim. This includes personal information like your Social Security number or access to your finances. The top frauds reported last year were from people pretending to be from the government, a well-known business, or a romantic interest in need of help.

A large portion of imposter scams are those pretending to be from the U.

New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating in an elaborate online dating scheme where he and conspirators acted as United States military members attempting to ship gold bars home.

Please enable JavaScript in your web browser; otherwise some parts of this site might not work properly. Scammers may try to use the internet to steal your personal information or trick you into sending them money. Learn how to stay safe online. If you believe you’re a victim of an internet-related crime, report it to these government authorities:.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3 will send your internet-related criminal complaint to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement. In addition to filing an IC3 complaint, contact your credit card company. Let them know about unauthorized charges or if you think your credit card number was stolen.

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