Feeds

Lads from Lagos pose as US troops to snare unwary ladies

'Breaking hearts and bank accounts' on home front

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The Lads from Lagos have struck again, this time posing online as US servicemen at war overseas in order to become "romantically involved" with American women fond of a man in uniform and then "prey on their emotions and patriotism".

“We are seeing a number of scams being perpetrated on the internet, especially on social, dating-type websites where females are the main target,” explained Chris Grey, spokesman for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command.

“These perpetrators, often from other countries, most notably from Ghana, Angola and Nigeria, are good at what they do and quite familiar with American culture,” he added.

US military investigators say that female victims of the online scammers have been "swindled out of thousands" by the Lads, who are cutting a swathe through American womanhood "breaking hearts and bank accounts" as they go.

According to the Army detectives, a scammer will often take on the true name and rank of a US serviceman fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, generally acquiring photos from the internet to back up the imposture.

Having enticed a lady in the States into an online relationship (often including an early offer of marriage, which Grey says is highly unlikely in the case of a real US soldier) the crooks then begin to ask for money. The cash is often supposedly to be spent on phones or laptops to be used to keep in touch with the woman.

What makes US brass hats particularly cross about this is that the Lads will often falsely claim that soldiers overseas aren't allowed to make or receive phone calls or letters, or that they are denied access to their own bank accounts while in combat.

“We’ve even seen instances where the perpetrators are asking the victims for money to 'purchase leave papers' from the Army or help pay for their flight home so they can leave the war zone,” said Grey.

The US Army always, of course, provides its members with a free flight home from any war it may send them to - though in some cases a posthumous one. Nor does it charge fees for leave passes or permission to marry.

Grey and his colleagues at Army CID warn that there isn't a lot they can do to stop the scams, so it's simply down to American ladies to be a bit less credulous. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.