I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
This is unfortunately a very common scam. It's actually become so common that the government has posted multiple warnings, asking people not to send money to people they meet online who are claiming to be soldiers.
There are dozens of other sites, such as this one:
Generals in the Army get paid pretty well. They don't have housing costs, and if they're deployed, they get combat pay. That means there's no reason in the world this man needs to be asking you for money. And I can't think of any reason to send a $1,000 birthday present to someone you don't know extremely well - the fact that he's asking is a dead giveaway. People who are in love and want to get married don't ask their partners for cash gifts.
Here is a picture of General Knud Bartels. He was Chairman of NATO's military committee. He's also Danish, so if he's claiming to be in the US military, he's lying.
The government also maintains a searchable database of military members. Take a look to see if you can find either of these men. There is NO RISK AT ALL to a service member who is on this database - the whole point of the site is actually to protect service members from being sued while they're overseas. See if you can find Dennis Heasmann there.
Google actually returns zero search results for Dennis Heasmann, which is - pretty much unbelievable in this day and age. I can find records of my grandmother on Google, and she's almost 100 years old. The fact that Google finds NO ONE with that name strongly suggests it's a fake name. And the fact that you found his picture attached to someone else is a great reason not to trust him.
It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Thank you.
The only way to verify if he's the real general is to talk to him on a video chat where you can see if he actually matches the person in the pictures, or wait to see if he shows up. Anyone could send you pictures off the internet and say it's them. I could send you a picture of Queen Elizabeth and say it's me. But video chat would show you that I'm clearly not. The real general's birthday is ***** 8, but since that's on Wikipedia, it doesn't prove anything.
Or if he says he doesn't have video, then ask him to do something VERY SPECIFIC like take a picture holding up today's newspaper and making a specific expression/hand gesture and send it to you. That's harder to fake.
Statistically, the likelihood that a decorated hero like Knud Bartles, a four-star general, is online looking to meet people via online dating is INCREDIBLY LOW, especially when you ask why he'd been looking to date an American.
That email does not change my opinion that this is a scam. I strongly encourage you to use the link I gave you to check to see if there is really a person in the military with his name stationed in the place where he claims to be currently located. You should also ask him to email you from his official military email address. which will end in @us.army.mil if he is legitimate. This is not something that can be faked. Only people in the military can get those email addresses.
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