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“I’m very concerned about the woman in England that was scammed,” he said.Asked about the scam that got him, Hallenbeck said he was contacted by the Nigerian woman after he visited a Web site that allows visitors to view photos of potential partners.“That just made it more realistic that everything she was saying was true,” he said. I’ve never been scammed my whole life.” The woman said her mother lived alone and was scrounging for money because her father died and she needed money for medical school, Hallenbeck said.The woman would correspond with him regularly, he said. The British woman, who lives in Somerset, England, said she contacted the person she thought to be Hallenbeck through a Web site aimed at connecting people with shared interests and those interested in dating. They even did crossword puzzles together, and the supposed soldier called quite often. “It’s always the same person who rings.” The man told her his wife died in a car crash nine years ago and that he had a 12-year-old son who was attending a boarding school in the U. The real Hallenbeck said he is single and has never been married, nor does he have children.The British woman who fell in love with who she thought was Hallenbeck said she, too, is embarrassed. The woman, divorced for 15 years, fell in love with the love letters, poems, flowers, e-mails and phone calls she received. The requests for money started a few months after they started corresponding, the woman said.
“When you’re out there, you’re lonely and you don’t think you’re coming back.” During the course of his conversations with the woman, Hallenbeck said he sent her the article and photo that appeared in “The Main Effort.” He said he also received e-mails from writers claiming to be the woman’s pastor and mother.In an ironic twist of events — and as evidence that online scam artists are thriving — Hallenbeck’s name and photo were used to scam a 59-year-old British woman out of thousands of dollars.Hallenbeck, a former Marine who later joined the Army National Guard, said he found out about the scam involving the British woman only when he was contacted by an Army public affairs officer, who was informed by Army Times.“I was helping her out with her tuition and I got scammed,” he said.“I was on a [forward operating base] most of the time, so any contact with humans helped, so I kind of got milked out of that.” Hallenbeck, who was deployed from June 2006 to June 2007 in Uruzgan province in south-central Afghanistan, declined to disclose how much money he had lost — but said it was far less than the woman who fell for a photo of him.