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She asked to speak with him in person or via Skype, but the man said that wasn't allowed.
“His thing was, ‘well, this is top secret, we're fighting the terrorists, we can't do anything that would compromise that, so I can't use the phone.' And I believed all this," Schuster said. Shortly after the first wire transfer, the man told her that he wanted to get out of the Air Force and join some of his pilot friends in starting a private company that flies charter planes.
After a few weeks, the man told her he needed some money to help his daughter go on a school trip. She was told the military wouldn't let him access his bank accounts, so he needed her help to make his dream happen.
She loaned him about ,000 by wiring the money to Britain, where he said his mother lived with his daughter. Schuster had her doubts, but said she was so scared that she might lose him that she was willing to keep wiring the money through Western Union.
“He was saying all the right things,” she remembered. It’s called a romance scam, and this devastating Internet crime is on the rise.Multi-million-dollar scamming industry For Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey, Schuster's story is all-too familiar. His office has received calls from the United States, Japan, Britain and Australia — all from women who thought they were in love with a U. They steal soldiers' photos from social media, create a fake backstory and profile for the photographs and then target unsuspecting women on online dating sites.The scams tend to pick up around the holidays, Grey said, so women dating online need to be careful. Never send money to someone that you've never met, never talked to on the phone,” he said.You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said.
“The perpetrators will reach out to a lot of people on various networking sites to find somebody who may be a good target.
Trolling for victims online “is like throwing a fishing line,” said Special Agent Christine Beining, a veteran financial fraud investigator in the FBI’s Houston Division who has seen a substantial increase in the number of romance scam cases.