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They also try and educate service members to protect their identities. Because many of the accounts impersonate Army soldiers, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which investigates crimes involving Army personnel, has become a repository for victims’ complaints.But investigators there can’t look into the reports because the victims and perpetrators are civilians, said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the division.For months or weeks, they try to seduce the women with sweet talk and promises of a future together. When victims send funds, they often do so via wire transfers or i Tunes and Amazon gift cards, which the scammers sell at a discount on the black market.Internet scammers arrived with the dial-up modem years ago, conning people in chat rooms and email inboxes.To find victims, they search Facebook groups for targets — often single women and widows — and then message hundreds, hoping to hook a few.Once they have a potential mark, the scammers shift the conversations with their victims to Google Hangouts or Whats App, messaging services owned by Google and Facebook, in case Facebook deletes their accounts.CID said many of the victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars and likely won't get that money back. Scammers will sometimes provide false paperwork to make their case, but real service members make their own requests for time off.: Service members and government employees DO NOT PAY to go on leave, have their personal effects sent home or fly back to the U. Also, any official military or government emails will end in or — not — so be suspicious if you get a message claiming to be from the military or government that doesn’t have one of those addresses.
Officials from the United States military and the F. When The Times followed the trail of one scam, it led to Nigeria, where six men said in interviews that they swindled Westerners over the internet because it paid far more than honest work, which they said was hard to find.In April, Army Criminal Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams in which online predators go on dating sites claiming to be deployed active-duty soldiers.