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Schuster noticed that her suitor had bad grammar, but that didn't really bother her because her immigrant father had poor grammar as well.
She asked to speak with him in person or via Skype, but the man said that wasn't allowed.
“My heart just sank and I thought, this doesn't seem right,” she said. Grey says he has personally spoken to women who've given more than ,000 to someone that they've never met in person. Grey says many of these criminals work out of cyber cafes in west African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana.
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.
He sent her poetry and page after page of emails professing his love.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
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.
In all, she sent about ,000, and almost immediately after she sent the last wire, he stopped emailing her.
The military does not freeze members' bank accounts or credit cards and provides health care for deployed service members. Schuster said she was encouraged to use personal email immediately rather than the site.
The faster the scammer is off the dating site, the lower the chances of being caught using a fake profile, according to Schuster.