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"It is heartbreaking to hear these stories over and over again of people who have sent thousands of dollars to someone they have never met and sometimes have never even spoken to on the phone." The majority of the "romance scams," as they have been dubbed, are being perpetrated on social media, dating-type websites where unsuspecting females are the main target, he said. The scams often involve carefully worded romantic requests for money from the victim to purchase special laptop computers, international telephones, military leave papers, and transportation fees to be used by the fictitious "deployed Soldier" so their false relationship can continue.

The scams include asking the victim to send money, often thousands of dollars at a time, to a third party address.

These scams are outright theft and are a grave misrepresentation of the Army and the tremendous amount of support programs and mechanisms that exist for Soldiers today, especially those serving overseas, said Grey. One version usually involves the sale of a vehicle; where the service member claims to be living overseas and has to quickly sell their vehicle because they are being sent to another duty station, said Grey.

Along with the romance-type scams, CID has been receiving other complaints from people worldwide who were scam victims -- once again where a cyber-crook was impersonating a U. After sending bogus information regarding the vehicle, the seller requests the buyer do a wire transfer to a third party to complete the purchase.

16, 2012) --- Special agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command are once again warning Internet users worldwide to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to Internet scams or impersonation fraud -- especially scams promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.

Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, continues to receive hundreds of reports from people worldwide of various scams involving persons pretending to be U. Soldiers serving in Afghanistan or elsewhere, according to CID special agents.

The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with American Soldiers, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away, they said. 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, Grey said.

"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 Matthew Ivanjack, who has fielded hundreds of calls and emails from victims.

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