These networks of scammers call their victims “clients,” and often communicate with many people simultaneously.
In the course of her investigations into fake profiles like Peter’s, Melanie has even found two women on Facebook fighting over the same (fake) lover.
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.
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.
For a start, all of his friends weren’t what you’d expect - not many soldiers and not much in the way of family”.
Despite the profile having recent activity, posts from what appeared to be a continuous deployment, and even comments and praise from friends, there were plenty of signs that Peter’s identity had been faked.“You’d at least expect to see plenty of activity from loved ones, as well as posts about important life events like the birth of a niece or nephew, or the birthday of a sibling or parent.” Additionally, the man was claiming to be in his 50s, an appropriate dating age bracket for Phoebe, the client.