Local News

Soldier warns women about expansive dating scam

SoldierJOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — A local soldier has received thousands of emails from love interests around the world.

There’s only one problem:

He’s not looking for love.

Major Gordon Hannett, stationed at JBLM, said online fraudsters are posing as the Major and soliciting money on his behalf. Hannett said someone claiming to be him scammed more than 300 woman into thinking they were talking to the major, and would get the women to send money on his behalf. The woman send the scammers money, Hannet said, and then contact him asking him what went wrong with their transaction.

“Women will send $2,000, $3,000, $10,000,” Hannet said. “I’ve heard of women cleaning out their entire retirement accounts to send to these guys, these scammers.”

Hannet said scammers use fake dating profiles and pictures to trick women into sending money for the chance to meet. A quick search for Hannett shows two false Facebook accounts featuring his real picture. Hannet has no idea how the accounts were set up.

Shannon Smith is senior council at the Attorney General’s Office. Several scams involving wire transfers to men claiming to be soldiers occur each year, Smith said. Though it’s a well known problem, little can be done to stop them.

“Often times when you send your money overseas, there’s nothing anybody can do to get your money back because our office doesn’t have the ability to chase people down overseas,” Smith said.

Major Hannett is now making it his mission to fight the scams and warn others about the crooks.

“They’re the lowest of the low,” he said.  “They’ve preyed on retirees and widows. They take their money. It’s just awful.”

The FBI is aware of many online dating scams and features online resources for those hoping to fight the fraud.

Visit these sites for more information on how to fight scams:





6 Comments to “Soldier warns women about expansive dating scam”

    Gill said:
    January 8, 2013 at 1:48 AM
    Sheri said:
    February 26, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    I will never understand, as a woman, how women can be so stupid! Lack of commen sense will get your bank account cleaned out fast…wake up ladies….

    Nancy said:
    April 21, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    I talked to the scammer on Match.com. It was obvious to me that the guy was a scammer, but I played along….told him that I'd send him money…only to change my story…and tell him I was in Haiti helping victims of an earthquake, and needed some money to get home , and then would wire him the cash he asked for…he disappeared quickly….never to be heard from again…be SMART ladies…if a soldier asks you for money give him the boot!!!

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