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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 out in the FOB for quite a long time on quite a few missions, and a lot of missions I thought I wasn’t coming back,” he said.

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"I was simply looking for companionship after my divorce and never thought there would be such cruel con artists looing to capitalise on loneliness."When he was wanting to send his money back via me, I realised there was something really wrong here and asked some questions and ended up with [police] Project Sunbird, who confirmed it was a scam." Detective Sergeant Dom Blackshaw has confirmed that the major fraud squad has been working with Nigerian police, who have arrested a suspect and charged him with obtaining money under false pretences."It's our fourth arrest working with the Nigerians - there's been a lot of cooperation between us," he said."The advice we've been given from the Nigerians is that he is part of a wider group and they invariably always work in syndicates."Detective Sergeant Blackshaw said the arrest stemmed from police lifting fingerprints off a document the scammer sent to Jenny, which matched a person known to the Nigerian police.

Jenny said she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never see the money again and felt like she had won the lottery after her bank agreed to recall several payments of money she sent to the conman."I've got it - it's safely tucked away in my bank," she said."When I learnt I had been defrauded, I put a recall on the funds and I have maintained contact with the overseas banks since that time in different channels, just assuring them that it was fraud."I sent three payments and I got two repayments back in the same amounts, so I got two phone calls back saying the money is here."I feel very lucky; a bit like winning the lottery."Jenny said the scammers prey on people who are vulnerable."I guess that was my question, how could I have fallen for that?

" she said."And I think it's not the what or the who, it is the when.

It's when a person has a little chink in their armour that someone can get in, and it festers and they make the most of it."Detective Sergeant Blackshaw said efforts to stop overseas scams targeting Australians need to be made on a national scale."The scammer in West Africa is going to look at an Australian as an Australian," he said."They are not going to look at them as a West Australian or a South Australian.

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.

12/06 - He sounds like someone you might want to take home to meet your parents.

An honest man with a good job- who wants a good, honest woman to be his soul mate.

Searching the internet, she discovered Redden was using someone else's picture.

A man who probably has no idea his photo is being used by scammers- not just once, but multiple times. It's the newest evolution of the Nigerian money scam.

“It is a violation, but it’s not like being broken into.” The photo of Hallenbeck that was used to fool the British woman came from an article in “The Main Effort,” the monthly newsletter of the 205th Regional Security Assistance Command.

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