Many of these cases have a distinct pattern to them, explained Grey. This is the same thing, except over the Internet." said Grey. has established numerous task force organizations to deal with this and other growing issues; however, the personnel committing these scams are often using untraceable email addresses on "Gmail, Yahoo!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." They often say they are widowers and raising a young child on their own to pull on the heartstrings of their victims. "The criminals are preying on the emotions and patriotism of their victims," added Grey. , AOL," 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.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 received, or help pay for their flight home so they can leave the war zone," said Grey.The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with an American Soldier, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away. 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."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. military," said Chris Grey, Army CID's spokesman. "We have even seen instances where the Soldier was killed in action and the crooks have used that hero's identity to perpetrate their twisted scam," said CID Special Agent Russel Graves, who has been fielding the hundreds of calls and emails from victims for months.Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations.You can report scams by phone at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) or TTY, 1-866-653-4261.
The Army reports that numerous very senior officers and enlisted Soldiers throughout the Army have had their identities stolen to be used in these scams. "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 aware that his pictures or identity have been stolen," said Grey. Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees.QUANTICO, Va., Oct 18, 2011 -- Special agents from the U. Army Criminal Investigation Command are once again warning the American public, as well as citizens from other nations, to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to Internet scams or impersonation fraud -- especially scams that promise true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.CID continues to receive hundreds of reports of various scams involving persons pretending to be U. Soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to Army CID special agents.WHERE TO GO FOR HELP Report the theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (FBI-NW3C Partnership) at
Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission at
Often times the company exists, but has no idea or is not a part of the scam.