COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A new scam is targeting single women in our area by using U.S. Soldiers as bait.
“They’ll drain you, you’ll think you’re helping but they’re just hurting you,” said Karen Young, a victim of the scam.
How it works
Scammers are targeting women who appear single on Facebook by sending notes through ‘FB messenger’ impersonating military members with hopes you’ll send them money.
Meet Karen Young
Karen Young is like a lot of single people looking for love on the internet.
“It’s hard with online dating these days… you just never think you’ll find the right person,” she said.
Young thought her luck had changed last week when a message from this man popped into her Facebook inbox.
“It said it was from a man named Roger Alford, I’m thinking who is this?” Young said. “I looked and saw he had a nice picture and he said he was lonely overseas with nobody.”
Young said she felt bad for him and agreed to be his ‘pen pal’.
“He was charming,” she said.
Charming but fake. The scammer reeled her in to believe he wanted to start a relationship.
How they’ll ‘reel in’ your wallet
In Young’s case, the scammers said he needed money to come home to the states to aid his dying father.
“He said is there anyway you could help out with a ticket home?”
Det. Jon Price with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office warns consumers surfing the web and social media to stay vigilant for any red flags.
“These people are professional and do it all the time,” he said. “Don’t think it won’t happen to you.”
If anyone asks you to send money, especially if it’s to a third party, don’t do it. And when it involves someone who says their in the military, try to trip them up. Ask them questions you can verify – like their role and when they deployed.
Another tip – ask for their address. Military personnel usually have an “APO” or “FPO” of where they’re stationed.