A mother and daughter who tricked hundreds of people into sending money to individuals they thought were U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan were sentenced to prison for their role in the “romance scam,” Colorado’s attorney general announced Wednesday.
Prosecutors said the pair helped funnel money to Nigeria after their accomplices lured women ononline dating sites into becoming romantically involved with and giving thousands of dollars to people they thought were members of the military. The two stole more than $1 million, ultimately roping in 374 victims in more than 40 countries, the attorney general said.
The mostly female victims were looking for love on the Internet, but instead had their hearts broken when they realized the soldiers weren’t real, prosecutors said in their indictment last year.
They fell victim to the scheme on dating and social networking sites, including Facebook, prosecutors said. The perpetrators sent photographs and military documents to the victims to convince them they were soldiers, then asked the victims to wire money to pay for satellite phones or travel expenses so they could visit, prosecutors said.