pictures are stolen from Maj. Chris Haggard:http://militarytimes.com/blogs/outside- ... -and-scam/
I joined an online dating service ("latinopeoplemeet.com") in late March and was approached by a member using the name "Jake Brown" with three photos of supposedly himself; two of the photos show him in a U.S. Army uniform and one photo clearly shows the soldier's name on the right side of his chest, the left sleeve shows the 10 Mountain Division patch, but I am unable to make out the patch on the right sleeve. He also has "air assault" and "paratrooper" insignias.
This "Jake Brown" and I chatted almost daily in the evening via Yahoo Instant Messenger (his Yahoo Messenger ID and e-mail address are: email@example.com
). His IPs are: 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52.
I noticed from the beginning his grammar was poor; I asked if he was from Africa or Russia and he insisted he was American. At times he blamed it on his inability to type well/fast. I knew better and slowly I noticed other things that didn't make sense like the fact he could communicate with me for two hours every night from Iraq when I know people that have family in Iraq (including me) and we haven't heard from these troops in months. He told me he was a Staff Sergeant in Iraq and therefore had the privilege of Internet access to chat with me, he claimed to owned a home in Bronxville, New York, and was retiring from the Army on June 20th. He said he was born 12/1/63 in Miami, FL, his father was in the medical field of the U.S. Army and later worked at a gold mining company in Ghana. He also said his mother was a special ed teacher. He claimed to have no family and that after his parents died 16 years ago he joined the military.
Foolishly, I gave him my home address when he asked me for it because he had gained my trust although I still felt something wasn't entirely right. Within two days of giving him my home address, I received a dozen red roses with a teddy bear, but little did I know what lied ahead. Two days after receiving the roses, he asked me to send $5,500 to "his agent" in Ghana via Western Union in order to get his father's inheritance removed from a security company vault and brought to me. He sent me a photo of a suitcase filled with money and claimed it totalled $2.5 million. I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I told him I didn't like this converstion nor his request and that I didn't want to get involved. Of course, what followed were "guilt trip" antics.
I then proceeded to beat him at his game. I told him that I would help as long as he gave me his APO address so I could send him a cell phone or calling card because I wanted to talk to him personally, I asked for his home address in Broxnville, NY, I told him I had read there were AT&T booths and internet cafes in Iraq and there was no excuse for him not to call from there, I told him to take a photo of himself next to his laptop with my photo on the laptop background. His constant and only response to all of these requests was, "you don't trust me and where there isn't trust, love is not stable." To my surprise, he did call two days later but my cell caller ID indicated "Unknown" - I told him that wasn't enough. Once I heard his voice (which sounded like an African man with a thick british-like accent) I knew he was not the soldier in the photos. He wouldn't even answer my questions whenever I asked for his title, rank, division, and unit.
A close friend advised me to check his IP address -- bingo -- he was communicating from Ghana. I was so crushed. I let him know what I discovered but it was of no use, he kept saying I was confused, played the victim, accused me of not trusting him and told me to leave him alone. I continued to ask for proof that he was Jake Brown in the photos but, of course, never got it. I have since blocked his e-mail address from accessing me via Yahoo Instant Messenger and e-mail. I saved our last two e-mails in order to have the e-mail header with his IP address.
I am so ashamed of myself although I did nothing wrong and am the target in this scenario. I just can't believe that I, almost 48-years-old, fell victim to someone like this; a ruthless person that has the audacity to use a U.S. soldier's identity to commit criminal activity on women for money. Thank God I wasn't weak and naive enough to drain my savings and send the money. Oh, yes, I actually thought about it.
I actually hope and pray the soldier in the photos is innocent. I have reported this information to the 10th Mountain Division in Ft. Drum, NY and to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
I have saved the last two e-mails from this person, I have all the Yahoo Messenger chat archives and I contacted the florist that delivered the flowers to me from him but they have referred me to FTD.com and I have not followed up yet. I wanted to see if they would at least tell me what country the order was placed from.
Following is Jake Brown's e-mail header:
Authentication-Results: mta129.mail.re2.yahoo.com from=yahoo.com; domainkeys=fail (bad sig); from=yahoo.com; dkim=permerror (bad sig)
Received: from 184.108.40.206 (HELO n1a.bullet.mail.ac4.yahoo.com) (220.127.116.11) by mta129.mail.re2.yahoo.com with SMTP; Tue, 05 May 2009 16:49:41 -0700
Received: from [18.104.22.168] by n1.bullet.mail.ac4.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 05 May 2009 23:49:40 -0000
Received: from [22.214.171.124] by t3.bullet.mail.ac4.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 05 May 2009 23:49:40 -0000
Received: from [127.0.0.1] by omp123.mail.ac4.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 05 May 2009 23:49:40 -0000
Received: (qmail 16546 invoked by uid 60001); 5 May 2009 23:49:40 -0000
Received: from [126.96.36.199] by web59911.mail.ac4.yahoo.com via HTTP; Tue, 05 May 2009 16:49:40 PDT
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 16:49:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jake Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org> View contact details