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‘Sextortion’ by prison inmates cheats soldiers out of nearly $600K, prosecutors say

Some 442 U.S. service men were scammed out of more than half a million dollars by “sextortion” racket allegedly run by inmates from inside jails in South Carolina.

U.S. prosecutors from the Departments of Defense and Justice on Wednesday blew the whistle on one of the most daring such rackets uncovered yet. Prosecutors have indicted 15 people, served five arrest warrants, and say they are investigating another 250 people — many of them outside jail — for involvement in the scam.

“South Carolina inmates, aided by outside civilian associates, identified and targeted military service members through social media forums and online dating websites,” said the National Criminal Investigative Service: “The prisoners, using fictitious online personas, preyed on service members to engage in online romantic relationships and then extort the service members for money.

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