I'm currently speaking with someone who has a similar story. He claims his name is Jeffrey Hilligoss, a sergeant in the army and currently on duty in Kabul. He has sent me multiple photos, and they're all of the same person with the name Hilligoss embossed on his uniform, and it looks like they were taken at a base in the desert. He said he just finished his last mission and will be going home soon to retire (he says he's 51).
We've been speaking for about three weeks, and although I was very cautious at first, he got me to drop my guard. He, like other scammers, said he had come into possession of some gold, but in this case, it was given to him by a community leader in a city in northern Afghanistan as a gift for saving their gold mine and city from the Taliban. Yesterday, he told me that he had to leave his base and move to another one for safety reasons because the Taliban were coming to attack as revenge for thwarting their plans in this city where the gold is. Since he's done his last mission and retiring, they didn't want him to be involved so he's being shipped out. As a result of this, he said that he could not take the gold and other important documents with him, supposedly because he couldn't completely trust the soldiers at the new base, which I thought was very odd, and asked if he could send them to me for safekeeping until he returned. I protested this and said I did not want to be involved, but he kept going on and on about how he was desperate and begged me to help him, and that I should trust him because he loves me, blah blah blah. I eventually caved because I have developed feelings for him and really wanted to trust what he was saying. Of course, now I regret it and woke up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night thinking about all of this. That's when I started to do some digging and that's how I ended up on this site.
First off, he is not from West Africa, like some people say these scammers are from. He's from the southern U.S. (he said he lives in Kentucky, originally from Arkansas). I actually spoke with him briefly on the phone, and he does have a southern accent. Secondly, the number he called from is a scam number (there's a website that lists them). Thirdly, he knows a lot about the military, talked about gun battles and missions in detail, and about going on patrol everyday. He talked about wanting to leave the "shit hole" and go back home to start a new life, with me and his son. Two of the pics he sent are with who he claims to be his son.
The first red flag I should've looked into more was that he said he wants to retire in Toronto, where I'm from, and it's such a great city, etc., although he's never been here. He came on really strong from early on and I told him to cool it down, and he did, but things eventually heated up as I started to speak with more regularly and he was all flattery.
Unfortunately, this is the second time I've come across this type of man. The first time, I actually had a full relationship with a guy who claimed to be a retired U.S. Navy Seal, and throughout our one-year relationship, I started to question many things about who he was and eventually hired a PI and had a conversation with someone in the military about him, and it turned out the guy was a fraud and had numerous criminal records throughout the U.S., mostly for credit card fraud. So, I was being cautious with Jeffrey, but not cautious enough. I really am starting to think I'm a magnet for these jerks!!! Of course, I also need to learn to listen to my instincts. There are way too many of these people out there, and I'm seriously considering going public with all of this to try to take some of them down.
I should also point out that I did not meet this guy on a dating site. He found me on Meetup.com, a site where you get together with others who have similar interests for various activities and excursions, among other things.