Divorcee loses $25K to phony soldier dating scam

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When divorcee Joan Romano met “Austin Miller” online, she thought the decorated soldier based in Kabul, Afghanistan was too good to be true–and he was.

But Romano, patriotic, love-stuck and guillible, didn’t figure it out until it was too late. She sent a total of $25,000 to a scammer in Ghana who was hiding behind a picture of a soldier, according to 20/20.

The news program tracked down the real soldier, a Fort-Wainwright, Ala.-based lieutenant named Jeffrey Miller whose photo was lifted from MySpace.

Its producers also found the fake, “Austin Miller,” who “admitted to our undercover producer that he was a conman and even tried to convince him to join him in his scam.”

To protect yourself from online dating scams, 20/20 points to tips from cybersecurity expert Hemanshu Nigam.

The news program’s special on online dating scams airs Friday. Check local listings.

[via 20/20]
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