Online Dating Sites Nightmare: N.Y. Girl Scammed Out of Thousands by ‘Soldier’

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Online Dating Sites Nightmare: N.Y. Girl Scammed Out of Thousands by ‘Soldier’

Joan Romano thought she ended up being assisting a handsome soldier in need.

They are found by us: Mr. Right Works Out Wrong

June 22, 2011 Match.com, among the nation’s most widely used dating internet sites, takes credit for “more relationships and much more marriages than any other website.” Not every connection made on Match.com has a fairytale ending — and Joan Romano discovered that out the way that is hard.

Romano, 53, from Lynbrook, N.Y., a busy and divorced woman that is single stated that she did not have enough time to head out and fulfill people. In the advice of buddies, she joined up with Match.com. She quickly found by herself chatting on the web with a man called “Austin Miller.” Miller identified himself as a decorated soldier based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Whenever Miller delivered her a photo of himself in uniform, Romano had been impressed.

She thought, “Wow, we strike the jackpot. (he had been) a guy that is nice-looking” Romano stated. “I’m vgl like, this will be too good to be real.”

As Romano and Miller stayed in contact, Romano discovered by herself dropping “deeper and deeper” to the relationship that is online. Whenever Miller asked for a new laptop computer, she ended up being wanting to assist a soldier in need of assistance.

“we have always been really patriotic and I also worked on earth Trade focus on 9/11,” she stated. “So if you ask me, if it is for a soldier to assist, we’ll do whatever we can.”

The laptop computer are priced at her $1,000. Miller instructed Romano to deliver it through FedEx to Ghana. Romano stated she had been just a little dubious associated with the mailing target — Ghana is a continent far from Afghanistan — but Miller informed her that a guy in Ghana would finally deliver the laptop to him.

Romano’s generosity towards the “soldier” did not end here: She delivered him an overall total of $25,000 within a six-month time period before realizing that she had dropped target to a scammer.

“Everyone can develop their very own viewpoint, but you may never understand until it takes place for you. And regrettably, it simply happened in my experience,” she stated.

To carry some closing to Romano’s tale, “20/20” posted the image that “Austin Miller” delivered Romano on the internet and we asked people to aid us find him. We received a lot more than a hundred reactions in only a matter of four hours, plus one associated with the communications led us to your solution. Angie Gordon, a viewer type Northern Virginia, picked through to a subtle clue.

“I became in a position to inform which branch he had been associated with into the Army also it sort of narrows the industry,” she stated.

With Gordon’s information, “20/20” surely could monitor down the man within the photo. Their genuine title had been Jeffrey Miller and we also discovered him during the Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. He had been a lieutenant into the U.S. Army whose identification was taken, quickly MySpace, and ended up being pretty much to be implemented for a tour that is second Afghanistan.

Miller had been surprised to discover that some body had evidently been utilizing their photo to perform a fraud.

“It really is a shame, it really is disgusting, that even someone may even as little as to betray a U.S. soldier and utilize that as a justification to benefit from these females or anyone for example,” he stated.

To assist Romano find her scammer somewhere in Ghana, “20/20” asked her to deliver one email that is final the alleged “Austin Miller.” With a few plans from a “20/20” undercover producer in Ghana, we monitored down her scammer. He admitted to your undercover producer in his scam that he was a conman and even tried to convince him to join him.

“we are able to also wake up to $15,000 to $20,000 more he told our producer from her.

The FBI said it gets several thousand complaints per year from individuals like Romano, who’ve been scammed by people they meet on on the web dating web sites.

Greg Blatt, the CEO of this moms and dad business that has Match.com, stated your website has invested huge amount of money to guard its people. Not as much as one 1 / 2 of one % of their customers have ever reported a profile this is certainly dubious, he stated, nevertheless when they are doing, the pages are obstructed within two hours, taken out of the website and investigated. Match.com’s security recommendations.

“We do everything we are able to making it because safe as you can,” Blatt stated. “At the conclusion of the we additionally realize that, that the majority of it rests in the hands of the users on their own to prevent this type of thing, and we also try everything we are able to to help them. time”

How could you stay protected from getting scammed on online sites that are dating? On line dating guidelines from cybersecurity specialist Hemanshu Nigam.