‘It’s been hell’:
How fraudsters use handsome soldiers to prey on lonely hearts over the holidays.
December 15, 2018
I’m a journalist at Global News in Toronto, Canada.
I wanted to share an article we published about scammers who take photos of soldiers to create fake profiles.
By Josh K. Elliott National Online Journalist, International Global News


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


MoneyGram Refund: November 2018

(Any questions please refer to the MG information provided in the article.
RomanceScams is not affiliated with MG. RS only shares information for RS victims to be informed.)

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Military Romance Scams

HOLIDAYS and SCAMMERS: Post: Oct. 08, 2018

RS Members, Newcomers, & Visitors,

As we enter the end trimester of the current year (as demonstrated in past years) we will encounter a rise in scammer contact and a rise of romance scam victims seeking help, information and answers to their (victim) questions.

Scammers seem to begin heightening their romance scams agendas about end of September but gaining more financial fraud activity by mid-October by focusing on the Good-Will of our fall and winter holidays.

Scammers are aware from televised commercialism of the holidays, giving presents, money and other costly gifts to family, friends, co-workers, etc. Scammers are quick to make their romance scam work and they make sure that they have a child; some claim having 2 children left behind from a deceased wife, or an ex-wife who left the children behind to run off with the scammers best friend or cousin.
For past romance scam victims, we know well how scammers use “fake” children to pull romance scam victims heartstrings to gain expensive gifts that the scammer will turn-around and sell for financial profits. That is what the romance scam is all about finding a means to cash in for their personal financial gains.

We all know in reality (most cases) that a woman who leaves her present husband will always take her children with her, no matter how well the father might be to their children, plus taken into consideration the work load, commitment, responsibility and schedule of the husband’s employment.

If scammers claim to be in military service, we know it is an impossible for a service member to carry his\her\their children to assigned deployments. With most military members (even when the couple are both serving the military forces), the children are left in the safety of an immediate family member in their home country; (the children are not left with a nanny in West Africa, or some foreign country in a boarding school). The children are well taken care of under the guardianship of an immediate family member, or very close caring family well known to the service member.
The children are provided all health and well-being; medical services by the Armed Forces. The children’s guardians are provided financial aide by the parents, deployed to serve military duty. At no time are the children left penniless, homeless, or without medical health insurance. The children are well provided for in the absence of the military parents.

We want to alert and remind our members, especially “new romance scam victims” to take caution of online strangers during the holiday season. This will be in effect until Valentine’s Day, when the online scammers use this opportunity to cause financial fraud upon the Romance scam victim. Then the online romance scams will slow down but continue, as the scammers carry out their financial fraud agenda, aka, 419 Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud Scams.
Never send money to online strangers; not even military armed forces members, they are never denied access to their earned monies and benefits.
Even in war zones, the military member is provided a means to access their earn income.

Please be AWARE & ALERT during the coming holidays; ALL holidays.
Do not send money or gifts to online strangers even if in foreign countries; especially if you never met the online contact in person standing in front of you personally shaking your hand.

Video chats are most likely virtually manipulated stolen recorded videos.
Please view the video to see how this stolen facial imagery is done to fool targeted online romance scam victims.  

419 Romance scams are very costly online fraud activities; emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually and financially devastating for targeted romance scam victims.

Please be SAFE, while interacting online.


Owner | Administrator | Compeer (members forum) (facebook page) (RS Blog)


Are You Dating an Army Soldier or a Fake?
There is one surefire way to know if your soldier is fake:
If a soldier you are “dating” online asks you for money for ANY reason, it’s a scam. Period. End of story.

By U.S. Army CID Public Affairs Office January 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — In today’s digital age, when most individuals communicate regularly with family and friends over social media platforms, one should always be awarethat online predators and scammers are lurking on those same platforms, actively stalking their next unsuspecting victims.

Now that the holidays are over and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, Special Agents with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, also known as CID, are anticipating a different type of holiday frenzy — an increase in “romance scam” reports.

The scam involves an online scammer tricking a victim into believing he or she is “in a relationship” with an American Soldier and then hustling the victim out of his or her money.

“These perpetrators are definitely not American Soldiers, but they are quite familiar with American culture,” said Chris Grey, Army CID spokesperson. “The criminals, often from other countries, most notably from West African countries, are pretending to be U.S. Soldiers routinely serving in a combat zone or other overseas location.

According to Grey, perpetrators take on the online persona of a U.S. Soldier, marry the persona with photographs of a Soldier off the Internet, and then begin prowling the web for victims. The Soldier’s rank and other details are often included in an effort to lend credence to the scammer’s story.

The Army reports that several senior officers and enlisted Soldiers throughout the Army have also had their identities stolen and used in these scams.

To date, Army CID has received no reports indicating a Soldier has been criminally involved or suffered financial loss as a result of these attacks. But victims of these scams have reported losing thousands of dollars.

One victim went so far as to refinance her house to help out her new online beau. In the end, she lost more than $70,000.

According to, the scammers set up fake social media accounts and dating site profiles with pictures suggesting that they are from the U.S. The scammers portray themselves as caring and loving individuals looking for a soul mate.

Once the victim is on the hook, the scammer attempts to persuade the victim to provide financial support to deal with a crisis or on some other pretext.

Scammers will communicate carefully worded romantic requests for money to purchase computers, international telephones, or pay transportation fees — always to be used by the fictitious “deployed Soldier” so the relationship can continue.

They ask the victim to send money, often thousands of dollars at a time, to a third party address.

Grey said he gets calls every week from victims of these kinds of scams.

“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,” 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.S. military.”

Along with the romance-type scams, CID has also received complaints from citizens worldwide that they have been the victims of other types of scams in which a cyber-crook impersonates a U.S. service member.

One version usually involves the sale of a vehicle; where the service member claims to be moving overseas and has to quickly sell their vehicle because they are being sent to another duty station.

After sending bogus information regarding the vehicle, the seller requests the buyer do a wire transfer to a third party to complete the purchase. 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.

“Another critical issue is we don’t want victims walking away and thinking that a U.S. Soldier has ripped them off when in fact that Soldier is honorably serving his or her country and often not even aware that his pictures or identity have been stolen,” Grey said.

— DON’T EVER SEND MONEY! Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees.

— 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.

— Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail. Service members serving overseas will often have an APO or FPO mailing address. Internet or not, service members always appreciate a letter in the mail.

— Military members have an email address that end in “.mil.” If the person you are speaking with cannot sent you at least one email from a “.mil” (.mil will be the very LAST part of the address and nothing after), then there is a high probability they are not in the military.

— Many of the negative claims made about the military and the supposed lack of support and services provided to troops overseas are far from reality — check the facts.

— Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company. Often times the company exists, but is not part of the scam.

— Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the emails.

— Be cognizant of foreign and regional accents that do not match the person’s story.

The U.S. 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 using pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes, which often times maintain no accountability of use. The ability of law enforcement to identify these perpetrators is limited, so individuals must stay on the alert and be personally responsible to protect themselves.

Officials said that if you suspect that you are a victim, you should contact the authorities as soon as possible and stop all correspondence with that person immediately. They added that the scams are a grave misrepresentation of the U.S. Army and the tremendous amount of support programs and mechanisms that exist for Soldiers today, especially those serving overseas.

— Report the theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) (FBI-NW3C Partnership).
— Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations.
By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) or TTY, 1-866-653-4261
By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580
— Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission on Nigerian Scams.

For more information on CID, visit


MILITARY IMPOSTERS, (only if you encountered a military Impostor):
Copy/paste the email into the text message box.
One Complete IP Header and email will do if scammer is using the same email address for all received emails.
Also, send the same information to;
Please visit the following link for reporting information and counterfeit documents scammers use in Military romance scams. (safe link) (Safe Link)
CID strongly recommends that Soldiers, civilians and family members who come across any known suspicious social networking or dating site profile or are solicited in this fashion from a person posing as a U.S. Soldier, immediately email CID at

Impersonation Fraud & Romance Scams
FTC has been urging everyone to file their complaints with the FTC.
The FBI stopped sharing the information with the shared computer that all agencies have access to.
The link to file with the FTC that is specific to Romance Scam is:
Go to Then select Scams & Rip-offs;
then scroll to Romance Scams – which takes you to the first link.

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Help & Support When You Need It

The is here to help and support those who have found themselves or someone close involved in a romance/dating scam. It is but one of the tools we have created to help support you. Here are the various ways you can contact us for assistance.

The first thing learned in our Personal Healing Journey;                                                There are only 3 types people in this scamming world.
1. Those that have been scammed and are not aware of it.
2. Those that have been scammed and are aware of it.
3. Those that have not yet been scammed.

Our Social Media Websites: (Yahoo victim\members Forum) (RomanceScams.Blog) (Facebook Timeline Page)

Our Yahoo group: Website is located at; The forum is formed by 419 romance scam victims and family members of 419 romance scam victims who share information regarding their encounter and healing from a 419 romance scam financial fraud and emotional devastation. Chat: No chat response available at this time.

If you want to discuss your situation with a compeer, send a private email message to the owner at Someone will reply depending on the time zone local of the responding compeer.

If you would like to share your romance scam experience with current members, our forum contact policy is to remain on the forum due to not knowing who is a member; we have not met them personally. is formed by members from around the world, countries that have been targeted by 419 online romance scammers, using stolen photos to fool their targeted online victims.

Our has over 20,000 members. You are not alone. This crime has happened to many people. It happens to college/university graduates, as well as people who may not have completed high school academia. It happens to people of high income brackets, as well as middle class and low-income workers, Elderly and Disabled persons also. Entertainers, high profile individuals, politicians; no one is immune to online romance scams. There are no age barrier. People using the internet, social media websites, gaming rooms, closed groups, special interest groups, anybody using an “internet connected website”, can be a potential “targeted” online romance scam victim.

This group is open so that you may come visit and read messages, however, you have to join, be a registered member in order to send messages. Please read the “introductory” information before you join; especially the paragraph suggesting to change user name and/or creating a new identity to use before you join our online fellowship. Following is the link to the 

We are here to help. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. Generally people who have not been scammed believe this cannot happen to them. Believe me, it can happen to anyone who does not know how this type of scam works. We will help you learn these skills without judgment and/or criticism. 

Our Facebook Page:

Our Facebook Page: is found at:
Our RomanceScams Facebook page is focused on information, sharing current or recent News regarding 419 Nigerian Romance Scam News/Arrests of online 419 scammers.
RomanceScams Facebook Page shares educational articles that can be useful for our daily facebook visitors to learn to be safe while surfing the internet websites.
RomanceScams Facebook Page has the inbox private messenger option for victims who want to keep themselves anonymous to the http://www., but want to receive help, can post a private message. And also, there is the freedom to reply to people who post comments on the community board to each posting shared with our daily RomanceScams readers. There is no need to register as the RomanceScams Facebook is a Public Forum. We do have a post for daily visitors to be aware do of online scammers who post comments, or like the RomanceScams Facebook Page. Our moderators keep a close vigilance and we do keep filtering our RomanceScams Facebook Page community.


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Western Australia Woman Scammed and Murdered ….

From the Australian News:

A WEST Australian woman who went to South Africa to find love has been found dead in her rented villa in a suspected romance scam.

The body of Jette Jacobs, 67, of Wagin, was found in her rented Johannesburg villa by police on February 9.

Ms Jacobs had travelled from Wagin, about 200km south-east of Perth, on November 22 last year to visit a Nigerian man she was having a relationship with on the internet.

Her death is being investigated by local police.

According to WA Police, it is the first such WA death as a consequence of an online scam.

Ms Jacobs, a widow with six grandchildren, lost her husband in 2002 and her subsequent partner in 2009.

She then met a man purporting to be “Jesse Orowo Omokoh” from Nigeria on a dating website and they had regular contact over a four year period.

Ms Jacobs had sent at least $80,000 to Nigeria during this time and met the man known as Jesse during a visit to Johannesburg in 2010 without incident.

During her last visit, Ms Jacobs was to meet Jesse for a second time but he said he could not get a visa to join her immediately.

A letter from Project Sunbird was sent to Ms Jacobs warning that she may be a victim of fraud, but it arrived shortly after she had left Australia.

Project Sunbird is a joint operation between WA Police and Consumer Protection that tracks large amounts of money being sent from WA to West African countries and attempts to warn the senders that they could be victims of relationship fraud.

WA Police and Ms Jacobs’ son believe she may have died in suspicious circumstances, with her money, credit cards, jewellery, laptop computer and other personal items missing from the villa.

Detective Senior Constable Robert Martin from the Major Fraud Squad today said such scams had now revealed  “tragic consequences”.

“We were hoping with our operation we would be able to prevent this from occurring,” he said.

“Unfortunately with Ms Jacobs, she did receive a letter from our Operation Sunbird team, informing her of the dangers, however she had departed for South Africa prior to receiving the letter. Her friend had the letter sitting in the room when I went to visit, it was sitting on the table.”

Const Martin said detectives had found an extensive paper trail showing the relationship stemmed back four years, with a number of emails between the two, including one where Ms Jacobs tells Jesse she is raising money for him – the money was meant to go to sick children.

“I am try as you know to raise the money and by the way you are the only one who know this ok,” she wrote.

“I will never tell anybody what I am doing here foe (sic) you ok. That is betwin (sic) you and me ok.”

“Thank you my sweet woman. Yes I know,” Jesse replied.

Const Martin said the task force was now creating a database of scammers to see if Jesse had more WA victims.

Ms Jacobs’ son, who did not want to be named, said her friends and family had tried to talk her out of going to South Africa, but she could not be swayed.

“Mum went over for a couple of months and did not return,” he said.

“So as you can see, one consequence of the internet scammers has taken her life.”

He urged others who find love on the internet to be cautious.

“Don’t go, because at the end of the day, they are running a business or a scam or what they want to believe it is, to lure people to go to Africa, and no saying it’s a one way ticket, but there’s a possibility it’s a one way ticket and no return,” he said.

“If you do meet someone who is truly in love with you, money doesn’t buy it.”

To view the original article:


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Disturbing News About Victims of Romance Scams

From Smashy Events comes the following article published June 16, 2011, ” Belgian police probe murders of ten internet daters who died after emptying bank accounts and flying to Africa to marry.”  The article begins “Ten men who emptied their bank accounts and flew to Africa hoping to marry women they had met on the internet have died suddenly”

Even though these are not Americans and the “women” each man went to meet lived in Cameroon instead of Ghana or Nigeria, this story should bring home the dangers of continued contact with any scammer.

From Canada comes the following article which I am reproducing in full here since the newspaper which published the article no longer has it available for reading:

Saskatchewan woman dies in Nigeria, family anxiously waits for body to be returned home

 By Sean Trembath, The StarPhoenix March 30, 2011
 The family of a Saskatchewan woman who died in Nigeria earlier this month is stuck in limbo waiting for her body to come back to Canada.

“It’s just a waiting game. All we can do is sit and wait,” said Marcia Seeseequasis, an adopted sister of Debra Pine.

Pine lived on the Beardy’s First Nation, located 85 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. On Feb. 9, she travelled to Nigeria to marry a man who Seeseequasis knows as Martin. A little over one month later, Pine died.

Pine had met Martin several years ago over the Internet and got married on Feb. 14. A few weeks later, Pine fell ill. She complained of a headache and vomiting, but didn’t want to see a doctor as she didn’t think the illness was serious, said Seeseequasis.

“She felt that it was just a flu,” she said.

On March 23, Sheryl Horse, Pine’s oldest daughter, was the last family member to speak to her mother. Pine complained of being very tired.

Pine died in hospital the next day, said Seeseequasis, who spoke to Martin that day.

“All Martin said was she’s dead,” said Seeseequasis, who has been the family’s main representative in attempts to get more information about her sister’s death and arrange for Pine’s body to be returned.

“It’s very difficult to communicate with a different country,” she said.

Seeseequasis tried calling the local police station in Nigeria and the hospital where Pine died, but neither would answer the phone.

“We haven’t been able to speak to a doctor. We haven’t been able to speak to anyone else,” she said.

An autopsy was performed to determine the cause of death, but the results are still pending, said Seeseequasis. Both she and Horse said the family does not suspect foul play.

“My sister trusted (Martin),” said Seeseequasis, adding that she trusted her sister’s judgment.

This was Pine’s second trip to Nigeria. In 2009, she went to meet Martin and his family for the first time.

“She said that he treated her well. She said she felt like a queen. I was happy for her that she found someone,” said Seeseequasis.

Since Pine was married before her death, Martin is the next of kin and any attempts to move the body have to go through him. According to Seeseequasis, he has been quite cooperative.

“He’s making all the arrangements over there. Thus far everything has gone well,” she said. Even so, they have yet to receive any confirmation that Pine’s body will be returned. Seeseequasis said that Martin wants to accompany the body to Canada, and this may be holding up the process.

“On behalf of the family, we’ve written a letter inviting him to the funeral,” she said. They hope it will help him get whatever visa is needed to allow him into the country.

Meanwhile, the community of Beardy’s First Nation have rallied behind Pine’s family.

“We’ve been getting so much support. People have been bringing food and money,” said Horse, who lives next door to Pine’s house.

Pine left nine children ranging in age from 11 to 33. The five who are still of dependent age are now living with Pine’s first husband, who also lives on the reserve.

Horse said that Pine was very well liked in the community.

“I never heard anything bad about her, ever. She always had a smile for everybody,” she said.

The most important thing now is getting Pine’s body back, said Horse.

“It’s really difficult,” she said.

“We want to have that chance to say goodbye to her. It doesn’t feel like we can.”

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
 Again, not an American, but the following story hits closer to home. Published August 2, 2011 by The Carthage Press in Joplin, Missouri, I hope the following will remind you of the dangers of remaining in contact with a scammer once you are aware that you are involved with a criminal: Nigerian scam ensnares Carthage woman.


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From the Wall Street Journal — Online, Is Dream Date A Scam? — May 4, 2011

Education and learning are the keys to safety on the internet. If you believe you are involved with a scammer and need help or assistance, visit us at: RomanceScams (members forum)

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