Feeds

Lads from Lagos pose as US troops to snare unwary ladies

'Breaking hearts and bank accounts' on home front

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.