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They then record their victims, play back the recorded images or videos to them and then extort money to prevent them from sending the recordings to friends, family, employers, often discovered via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.

The pro-dater differs from the other scams in method of operation; a face-to-face meeting actually does take place in the scammer's country but is devoted solely into manipulating the victim into spending as much money as possible in relatively little time, with little or nothing in return.

The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.Sometimes the third party is real, sometimes fictitious.Funds sent by Western Union and Money Gram do not have to be claimed by anyone showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret pass phrase and response, and can be picked up anywhere in the world.Scammers prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their female victims.Also because military public relations often posts information on soldiers without mentioning their families or personal lives, images are stolen from these websites by organized internet crime gangs often operating out of Nigeria or Ghana.

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