July 27, 2010
Posted: 05:31 PM ET
Why isn't more being done to stop online imposters who steal photos of soldiers they find on the Internet, and then fraudulently post them on dating websites to scam women out of money? Sometimes these scammers even use photos they find of soldiers who were killed while at war.
We reached out to the Army, the Secret Service, the FBI, the State Department, Federal Trade Commission and the National White Collar Crime Center to find out if anyone was trying to track down these scammers. All say, unfortunately, there is little they can do. Of course, the feds can take your complaint, but they say they are not actively pursuing the imposters, mostly because they are operating from outside the United States and are very mobile, often from internet cafes.
I can only imagine how frustrating that must be for both the women who are scammed and the soldiers whose names and photos have been stolen. The reason the Army says it cannot go after these scam artists is because the soldier is not the perpetrator, which means the crime does not fall under the Army's jurisdiction.
Since we began reporting this story, we've heard from other soldiers and high-ranking Army officials who say they feel helpless. They don't understand why more cannot be done to stop these online imposters.
What do you think should happen? And for you computer geniuses out there, is it really that hard to track down these scammers and to put an end to this?
If you want to report a scam like this one, the Army recommends you contact one of the following entities:
Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft
Internet Crime Complaint Center: http://www.ic3.gov
Report the theft to one of your local law enforcement agencies:
United States Secret Service: http://www.secretservice.gov
United States Postal Inspection Service: http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov
United States Army Criminal Investigation Command: http://www.cid.army.mil
United States Navy Criminal Investigative Service: http://www.ncis.navy.mil
United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations: http://www.osi.andrews.af.mil