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. He sent her a fictitious airway bill showing that two trunks with “family treasure” would be sent to her, along with a fake United Nations Identity Card that identified him as an Israeli citizen and UN delivery agent. The next day she died by suicide. Authorities say Sarpong and his conspirators used various email accounts and Voice Over Internet protocol phone numbers to communicate with the victims and instruct them where to wire money. Authorities say the funds were then withdrawn in cash, wired to other domestic bank accounts and wired to conspirators in Ghana.
Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. Retired U. Army Col. The year-old husband and father spent half his life in the military.
To date, 28 individuals in more than a dozen states have been identified “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting our citizens who claimed to be stationed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, and whom.
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. Unfortunately, in every situation presented to the DAO thus far, it has turned out to be an internet fraud. It is recommended that you read both of these documents:. If you believe that you have been the victim of Internet fraud, please follow the advice presented in the above press release.
How can fraudsters create fake IDs? There is a vast amount of information that is within the public domain on the Internet. This includes photographs of U. Therefore, it is very easy for anyone to download images of U. All the photographs that have been received by the DAO appear to be genuine; however, the perpetrators normally alter the name making positive identification near impossible.
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.
CID Warns of Social Networking, Dating Site Scams (PDF / 2 pages) The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, continues to warn the greater Army.
Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim’s heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal.
What’s especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U. The scammers are exploiting people’s good intentions toward our men and women in uniform, and exploit their goodwill. Not only does this kind of fraud hurt the victim, but it damages the reputation of the United States Military member. Foreign victims often fall for the scam, and really do think a U. Someone who pretends to be a sailor, soldier, airman, or Marine looking for love but really is looking for cash will count on you not investigating them too deeply.
This is where you can get the upper hand. Here are a few cautionary measures to try and protect yourself against these scams if you decide to try to find love online.
New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating sites, prosecutors say
AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. Hundreds of times a day, women here and overseas complain about being scammed by con artists posing as U.
A recent study indicates that 15 percent of American adults use online dating websites or mobile applications. As the number of people looking to meet new people.
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. On Monday, Rhode Island U. Almond ordered the alleged leader of the conspiracy, Wisdom Onyobeno, 39, of Sandy Springs, GA, to remain in federal custody and be returned to Rhode Island.
Onyobeno was arrested at his Georgia home on November 19, , on a criminal complaint filed by the U.
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.
Ms Smith said: ‘He conducted an online dating fraud exploiting lonely and vulnerable women by pretending he was an American soldier in.
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.
Man accused of scamming $2 million by ‘wooing women with words of love’ online
Military combat isn’t the only battle service members are fighting. Those were the findings of a recent data analysis by Comparitech. The consumer technology website analyzed scam data through the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Below are the fraud schemes that have led to the steepest losses for military personnel, according to Comparitech.
Defend yourself against fraud and stay financially secure with tools and resources for servicemembers, veterans and families.
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC. Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts.
The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money. Scammers ask you to pay by wiring money, with reload cards, or with gift cards because they can get cash quickly and remain anonymous. They also know the transactions are almost impossible to reverse. If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card , contact the company that issued the card right away.
Tell them you paid a scammer with the gift card and ask if they can refund your money. Notify the website or app where you met the scammer, too. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. Search form Search.
Washingtonians are falling for romance scams — here’s how to protect yourself
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. Even the skeptical among us can, like Louis, let our eyes get too starry to see straight.
A U.S. Army Reserve military policeman handcuffs a mock detainee during a Two Army reservists have been accused of coordinating a fraud they were in a romantic relationship using fake identities and dating websites.
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. Oliver begs me to send money so we can use the satellite phone. The cost? When I log back on, I see this:. Na guy man you Dey follow dey waist him time since You no go just talk say you be work man.
Maka still go Dey bomb Na ogor go finish you there”. In the course of researching this phenomenon, many women around me, colleagues and friends, have also been approached on Instagram by good looking, uniform wearing U.
Internet Scams Warning
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.
Explore the signs of an online romance scam and find helpful resources, along with HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY DATE SAFELY ONLINE he told me his name was Malcom James, he was in the US Military, and was based in Iraq. Google the scammer’s name to see if they’ve been reported on any scam sites.
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.
This scam commonly begins on a social media platform, but it can also start through matching on an online dating website. After the impersonator has built up a rapport with their target and earned his or her trust, they will ask for money.