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The online conversations with this woman, who said she was from Nigeria, were comforting, a distraction from combat.
But after three or four months, Hallenbeck, 47, said he realized she was lying to him.
Someone you know may be dating this guy right now - online- and he's got quite a plan- because he's not just one guy, he's dozens of guys, sitting in a room with a script- cashing in on romantic gullibility. He is a single man, raising his daughter- who is 12-years-old," says Krystene Tucker. Krystene says He quickly moved in- from friendship to romance to a crisis- "Krystene- I really need your help. " My client needs to send me a check." He gave her some convoluted but weakly believable story about being stuck in Nigeria with no way to cash the check. "I would be depositing that check in my account, taking that cash and then going to Western Union and wiring that money to him.
The single mother in Mukilteo wasn't even looking for romance, when a mystery man named Redden sought her out in an internet chat room. He said he was in the import-export business and traveled a lot. At this point I knew it was a scam and so I was looking to get something - proof of what he wanted done." So she gave him a fake address and put on her detective hat.
He is not the only service member whose name and photo were used to fool women into sending money to con artists. Richard Bartch had his photos lifted from a family morale Web site by a con artist who then asked women to send money to help pay for the shipment of his luggage as he made his way home from Iraq.
The real Bartch, who lives in Spokane, Wash., knows his name and likeness have been used in the scam, but the nature of the identity theft has limited his options. Just because the guy’s using my name, there’s not any real recourse,” Bartch said.
“I was a bit anxious about it, but Paul kept reassuring me,” the woman said.
“I guess I wanted to trust him.” Then she was told that her soldier tried to flee the military base in an attempt to find her and was now in custody.