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He said they often pretended to have a military background as this is attractive to women and gives them a plausible reason why they can't meet.

They often communicate with you for weeks and months so you think you are getting to know them better while it is actually all part of their master plan.The standard scam story then starts to unfold as your online date suddenly has some sort of emergency in Nigeria or Ghana.Jenny said she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never see the money again and felt like she had won the lottery after her bank agreed to recall several payments of money she sent to the conman."I've got it - it's safely tucked away in my bank," she said."When I learnt I had been defrauded, I put a recall on the funds and I have maintained contact with the overseas banks since that time in different channels, just assuring them that it was fraud."I sent three payments and I got two repayments back in the same amounts, so I got two phone calls back saying the money is here."I feel very lucky; a bit like winning the lottery."Jenny said the scammers prey on people who are vulnerable."I guess that was my question, how could I have fallen for that?" she said."And I think it's not the what or the who, it is the when.I couldn't help telling them all about it and showed them Glen's picture on my laptop.' Sheila was sent this picture by 'Glen', who she believed was a medic in the Canadian Navy based in Afghanistan.

Claiming to be a military man is a common ruse used by scammers as it makes them attractive to women and provides a plausible explanation as to why they are unable to meet He said they would send the woman a picture of a handsome man they would 'fall for' and concoct a back story about their life.

He said a payment had to be made right away in order for them to get the goods he needed from a supplier - and that he couldn't make the transaction from Afghanistan.

She recalled: 'As I was showing prospective buyers around my house I was so excited as Glen was due to be coming home tomorrow.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.

A Perth woman who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Nigerian online romance scam has recovered part of the money after a police investigation.

"We developed a relationship online fairly rapidly, and fairly rapidly he started requesting money and I sent those sums of money after about six weeks," she said.