Seriously, what would it take to get it through people’s head not to send money to strangers. Really I do not think this couple deserves jail time. It’s free enterprise and if people want to send their hard-earned money to strangers let them – maybe they have a lot of it. If they were suffering they wouldn’t send money away like that. At some point people have to take responsibility for their stupid actions. Unfortunately we sometimes have to pay to learn. It’s life’s university – education is not free in the U S of A.
If someone you do not know ask you to send money for any reason, check it out first with the POLICE or your Consumer’s Bureau – make sure it is legit before dishing out cash.
29 August 2013 Last updated at 12:46 ET Share this pageEmail Print Share this page
ShareFacebookTwitter.Million-dollar dating scam mum and daughter jailed Karen Vasseur posed as a “military agent” to collect money from duped victims Continue reading the main story
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A mother and daughter who used an internet dating scam to steal $1.1m (£700,000) have been jailed for a total of 27 years.
Denver-based Karen Vasseur, 63, and daughter Tracy, 42, tricked victims into thinking they were talking to US service personnel looking for love.
The prolific scammers duped 374 victims in the US and 40 other countries.
“Not only did this mother-daughter duo break the law, they broke hearts worldwide,” police said.
“It is fitting that they received stiff sentences for their unconscionable crimes committed in the name of love and the United States military,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
Both women pleaded guilty when arrested last year.
The younger woman faces a 15-year sentence, while her mother was given a 12-year sentence.
Tracy Vasseur received an additional four years for crimes relating to an attempt to gain control of her children’s inheritance, and for “attempting to influence a public servant”.
Colorado authorities said the pair ran an operation which included several other members who have not been caught.
This “staff” would do the leg work of targeting potentially vulnerable people on popular social media sites or dating services.
Tracy Vasseur received the longer sentence for her part in the scam
From here, they would concoct a story that they were in the US military, and were in need of money for various reasons – the most popular being travel costs, or satellite phones to “talk directly” with someone.
Once a victim appeared ready to pay, they were instructed to transfer funds to the two women who posed as “military agents”.
One transaction was as high as $59,000, court documents said.
Although the pair were responsible for administering the scam, the court said the majority of the money was quickly passed on to other accomplices across the world.
Money was most frequently sent to contacts in Nigeria, but also to individuals in the UK, India, UAE and Ecuador.