We were contacted by a female (let’s call her Vanessa) who had been emailing a US soldier in Iraq for several months. His name was Michael Smith – this was the actual name used.
Vanessa was asked by Michael to apply for leave on his behalf as his fiancé. But, this request also involved her sending $3,200 to help facilitate the leave request.
Naturally, Vanessa was concerned this might have been a scam and we were asked to look into the matter.
We arranged for a “special” email to be sent to Michael, which revealed the IP address of the PC he was using.
The PC being used by “Michael Smith” was in Togo, a small country in Africa just to the left of Nigeria - need we say more?
We were pleased to have assisted Vanessa and there was no charge for our services.
There is no inherent problem with corresponding with unknown people via the internet or email. However, always treat requests for money, regardless of how plausible, with a high degree of suspicion. Do what Vanessa did and get them checked out.
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