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If they start asking for money- or for you to send them packages to Nigeria for any reason- stop talking immediately. Paul Hallenbeck was deployed to Afghanistan when he met a woman online. He had been mobilized individually, away from his unit, and tasked to deploy with the 41st Brigade Combat Team from Oregon.His job had him training the Afghan army, and he was often outside the wire on dangerous missions.
The real Bartch, who lives in Spokane, Wash., knows his name and likeness have been used in the scam, but the nature of the identity theft has limited his options. Just because the guy’s using my name, there’s not any real recourse,” Bartch said.
The British woman who fell in love with who she thought was Hallenbeck said she, too, is embarrassed. The woman, divorced for 15 years, fell in love with the love letters, poems, flowers, e-mails and phone calls she received. The requests for money started a few months after they started corresponding, the woman said.
She was first asked, by a fake commanding officer, for ,000 to ensure that her soldier would return to Afghanistan after visiting her in England. She was later told that he was ambushed on his way to the airport and shot in the back.
“That just made it more realistic that everything she was saying was true,” he said. I’ve never been scammed my whole life.” The woman said her mother lived alone and was scrounging for money because her father died and she needed money for medical school, Hallenbeck said.
The woman would correspond with him regularly, he said. The British woman, who lives in Somerset, England, said she contacted the person she thought to be Hallenbeck through a Web site aimed at connecting people with shared interests and those interested in dating. They even did crossword puzzles together, and the supposed soldier called quite often. “It’s always the same person who rings.” The man told her his wife died in a car crash nine years ago and that he had a 12-year-old son who was attending a boarding school in the U. The real Hallenbeck said he is single and has never been married, nor does he have children.