Police have released photos used by an accused romance scammer who allegedly posed as a US soldier to trick a woman into handing over a significant sum of money.
The 32-year-old man pretended to be an American soldier and allegedly scammed a “well-educated” Brisbane woman seeking romance of more than $300,000, police say.
Police revealed three blurred photos, which they say were used by the alleged scammer.
The first photo shows a man wearing a camouflage vest holding a cold drink.
Another photo shows two people in camouflage outfits shaking hands.
The final image shows a man in a camouflage outfit with the words “U.S. Air Force” embroidered above the pocket holding a certificate flanked by two men giving the thumbs up.
The 34-year-old woman sent the foreign national more than $200,000 after he told her a sob story relating to the loss of close family members.
They had met on social media last October and began an online relationship.
He claimed to be deployed in Syria, but was in fact living in Brisbane.
He later went to her house to take another $105,000, claiming he was a fixer for the soldier after he did not match the photos of her purported boyfriend.
The meeting prompted her to go to police, who caught the man in a sting, involving the proposed handover of more money before charging him with fraud and attempted fraud.
“It’s very uncommon in Australia or anywhere around the world to have an offender involved in this type of scam physically present themself for the collection of money,” police investigator Vince Byrnes told reporters on Friday.
“It is a disturbing development and impinges on the personal safety of not only that victim, but as a development in the methodology (of scammers).
The man was set to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday and police were to oppose bail.