Romance scams | US military members’ pictures and videos stolen, used to trick women to giving up money | #lovescams | #military | #datingscams

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Men are coming forward frustrated at learning their pictures are being used to scam people looking for love.

ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson continues to warn you about the financial and emotional heartbreak of the victims who thought they formed an online love connection, only to lose thousands of dollars to this scam.

The men who are unwittingly being used as the face of these scams said no matter what steps they take, they can’t stop the scammers from stealing their pictures and using them to steal money from unsuspecting women.

“It’s been ongoing every week at least one to three females every single week,” said Honza Cafourek, a flight chief in the Air Force.

He said he’s constantly contacted by women caught up in a romance scam thinking they’ve formed a connection with him.

He said the women are all strangers, but they show him messages back and forth with someone who’s using Cafourek’s pictures looking for a companion.

The women tell Cafourek the same story. One that scammers have curated to extract money out of their victims’ bank accounts.

“I had a wife. she passed away. I’m in a military, I’m trying to, you know protect the US or whatever, and provide for my family, for my son, who is without mother,” Cafourek said explaining the tale the women who have been scammed revealed to him.

Cafourek said he has not lost a wife, but he does have a son. He also shared with Wilson social media accounts that he said all impersonate him, stealing the photos and videos he posts.

He said he reports the fakes, but it does little good.

“They will create another one and another one and another one. It’s a constant battle.”

The women eventually find Cafourek once the scammers impersonating him stop communicating with them after getting all the money they can. He said by the time the women who have been scammed find him and realize they were not communicating with him but scammers, he can’t believe all of the money they’ve lost.

“Overall from what I just calculated that people sent to people who are using my pictures, $180,000? I’m like $180,000 to scammers?!”

Army recruiter Ceasar Camacho is also dealing with romance scammers impersonating him. He said the scammers claim he’s deployed.

“Many times it’s I’m in Lebanon. I’m in Syria, and I don’t have money to get back to the United States,” he said.

Camacho showed Wilson all the scam profiles where he said scammers used his pictures and videos to lure women into a relationship.

“Usually these fake accounts say I’m widowed.”

Instead, Camacho is happily married with a son. He said despite making his social media account private, scammers continue to use his pictures and videos.

He said the scammers take the videos he has posted in the past and edit them to make it appear he’s having a conversation with them.

“A lot of these females, they said ‘but I talked to you,’ and when I asked them, ‘can you show me?’ They show me a video that I had and what it is. It’s cut up. So, it’s kind of like, hey? hey? and then they’ll text back, saying, I have internet issues,” Camacho said.

Camacho and Cafourek said the Facebook group ScamHaters United has helped him stop several scammers from impersonating him by getting the fake profiles blocked on social media, but as one gets blocked, another fake profile is put up to try and trick women looking for love out of their money.

“They know how to hook you. Then they get to know you and they exploit you,” Camacho said.

The key to anyone you meet online is that you can’t believe who they are just from pictures or videos. As you see it’s very easy to impersonate anyone and make up a story. Often scammers hack your friends or family social media accounts and contact you. You think they are in need, but instead, it’s a scammer behind the account.

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