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It’s easy to feel bad for the victims here — how could you not?
— but there’s something else at stake, too: the security and privacy of our soldiers’ identities.
We’ve all heard of people getting scammed out of large sums of money by opportunists making phony pitches over the phone, by mail or by e-mail and via online websites.
For a story, we’re now checking into reports about thieves who steal people’s online photos and then post them on dating websites.
Claiming to be a soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is a particularly common online dating scam at the moment.
These con artists often use the real rank and name of an active (or even deceased) service member and go on to ask for money to buy items like laptop computers or international cellphones.
After all, every fake profile is created using a real soldier’s picture.
Let me know if anything like this has ever happened to you on Internet dating websites.Her new boyfriend had a complicated backstory: He was an American soldier serving in Iraq, and he had a son living in Ghana.But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her.Online dating scams have been hitting the headlines with increasing frequency recently, causing not only heartache but a pain in the pocket.In earlier issues, we explained how scammers try to strike up online relationships then, claiming to be stranded in another country or in desperate need to visit a sick relative, ask the victim to help pay for an airplane ticket.