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"In this latest reported case, the victim was lucky and we hope that by highlighting what can happen, other women will avoid falling victim to online fraudsters." Most of the women targeted in the West Mercia area so far have been from the town of Kidderminster in north Worcestershire.

According to Action Fraud, victims of romance fraud reported losing over £3 million between June and November 2010.

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Olasemo, 37, was allowed into Britain on a student visa, where he set up a profile from his Cardiff home, pretending to be an American serviceman.

The women believed heroic Captain Morgan Travis was on the lonely hearts website looking for love Ms Smith said: 'Despite having obtained substantial sums of money he then decided to say Morgan Travis had been arrested for money laundering and requested money in the guise of Sergeant James Wayne who said he was a friend of Travis.'Despite discovering Morgan Travis was a lie dreamt up by a Nigerian man called Tosin Olasemo she continued an online relationship with him after telling her he had committed the fraud because he had borrowed money from Nigerian militants and now owed them money under pain of death.

Ms Smith said: 'Unfortunately she still felt an attachment to the defendant and stayed in contact for some time and sent him more money until a lady claiming to be the Danish wife of Olasemo contacted her.

Olasemo, living in Cardiff on a student visa at the time of the frauds, was arrested January 2015 at his home and when police searched his computer found 'conversations with numerous other women as Travis'.

Detective Sergeant Jamie Holcombe, from the South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit, said: 'This case is an example of how an individual can sit in front of a computer and destroy another person's life.

After carefully building an online relationship with the women, the "soldiers" ask for money to help them, for example, pay medical bills or fund setting up a telephone link near their military base.Last year, the BBC reported that a rising number of scammers, often based in West Africa, were pretending to be US soldiers in order to solicit money from women they met on dating sites.Some of these men used the names of real American soldiers, and would take photos from military websites to use as their profile pictures on the dating sites.Others even sent the women fake military documents to make themselves seem more authentic.PC Lee Halford of West Mercia Police said: "We are keen to make women who use internet dating websites aware of these scams, so that they will exercise caution."So-called ‘romance scammers' will set out to form an online relationship over a period of weeks or months and then make a request for money when they feel they have established enough trust.

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