Divorcee loses $25K to phony soldier dating scam



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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