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The perpetrators often tell the victims that their units do not have telephones or they are not allowed to make calls or they need money to "help keep the Army Internet running," he said.They often say they are widowers and raising a young child on their own to pull on the heartstrings of their victims."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.Here are some places to visit: Report a scam to the Internet Crime Complaint unit at: The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with American Soldiers, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away, they said. The perpetrators will often take the true rank and name of a U. Soldier who is honorably serving his country somewhere in the world, 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, Grey said.
In July 2016, the two Nigerian co-conspirators pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the scam, and a federal judge sentenced them each to 36 months in prison last December.
Once victims are hooked, the criminals continue their ruse.
"We've even seen instances where the perpetrators are asking the victims for money to purchase leave papers from the Army, help pay for medical expenses from combat wounds or help pay for their flight home so they can leave the war zone," said Grey.
But Charlie is still at large, presumably in Nigeria, and there may be little hope of bringing him to justice.
“This is a very difficult crime to prove,” Beining said.
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.