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She ended up giving away £4,000 before she discovered she was the victim of an elaborate scam based in Nigeria.

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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.

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 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.

He said: 'Most women say they want security and someone with a good job.One of the best jobs we believe is in the military and with a military man you can say you are travelling.His picture looks like he's a nice guy, and he's so cute. While many couples meet, date and even marry through online sites, not all online encounters lead to wedded bliss, and some can lead to financial or emotional disaster.She's really young and sexy, and she said she wanted to meet you. Sadly, these con artists don't wear signs telling you to beware and run the other direction.They are quite good at appearing honest and innocent, and extremely skilled in conning people out of their money, their virtue and their dignity.Here are some common tricks used by professional scammers, and ways to avoid getting into their traps.