Internet dating scam - mother and daughter crime duo jailed

Filed Under: Featured, Law & order, Social networks

Karen VasseurMother and daughter, Karen and Tracy Vasseur from Colorado, US, have been jailed for a total of 27 years after they tricked unsuspecting victims into thinking they were talking to members of the US military who needed money to be sent to them.

In total, the pair managed to con 374 people out of 1.1 million dollars with one victim stumping up as much as $59,000 according to court documents.

Authorities said the duo had other (yet to be caught) staff working for them who would trawl the internet looking for vulnerable people on dating sites or social networks.

They would then tell them they were part of the US military, serving in Afghanistan. Once they had established a relationship with their victim they would tell them they were in need of money for things like travel to the US, retrieving property and other expenses.

When a victim had agreed to pay, they were told to transfer the money to the two women who posed as 'military agents'.

Tracy VasseurThe money was then quickly passed on to other accomplices in Nigeria, the UK, India, UAE and Ecuador.

Tracy was ordered to spend 15 years behind bars, plus an extra four years for unrelated charges.

Karen received 12 years, to run concurrently with a 10-year sentence for tricking 'at-risk' adults into a fake loan scheme.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers commented:

"Not only did this mother-daughter duo break the law, they broke hearts worldwide.

"It is fitting that they received stiff sentences for their unconscionable crimes committed in the name of love and the United States military,"

This sad story just acts as another reminder to be careful who you talk to online. When someone's hiding behind a screen you can never be sure who they really are.

Be careful who you speak to, and *never* send money to someone just because they ask you to.

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11 Responses to Internet dating scam - mother and daughter crime duo jailed

  1. Carolyn · 769 days ago

    Does this mean that I will no longer get hundreds of skype messages from US and EU generals in Afghanistan, Syria etc ... Thank goodness. I always wondered who was behind those unbelievably badly written and incredibly smarmy messages.

    • I had the same thing going on, Carolyn. For many months. I thought it would never come to an end. Reporting abuse didn't help either, as they kept popping up with new names and new profile pictures.

    • Ryk Edelstein · 769 days ago

      For the longest time I wondered how anyone could send letters composed with such poor grammar, and expect anyone to bite on the bait. Then, I learned that the bad grammar was intentional, and that by the scammers logic, if anyone were to read these letters and take the bait, they were of an intellect low enough that they could be taken.

      Interesting logic..

  2. Mick A · 769 days ago

    ...I hope I haven't broken any copyright laws, but I have printed off their pictures to keep my kids away from the fire.

  3. Randy · 769 days ago

    Was it necessary to publish their photos?

  4. DCC · 769 days ago

    Why not publish their photos?

  5. Margarita · 769 days ago

    Yes, why not?

  6. donna · 768 days ago

    how do you go about finding out if the person that you are talking to , that you have sent money to that they are a real person or a con on face book or yahoo

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About the author

Anna Brading is Naked Security's editor. She has worked in tech for more than ten years and as a writer with Sophos for over five. She's interested in social media, privacy and keeping people safe online.