Renee Holland sent her Facebook friend thousands of dollars. She became entwined in a global fraud that the social network and the United States military appear helpless to stop.

On a Monday afternoon in June 2017, Renee Holland was draped in an American flag at Philadelphia International Airport, waiting for a soldier she had befriended on Facebook.

The married 56-year-old had driven two hours from Delaware to pick him up. Their blossoming online friendship had prompted her to send him a care package and thousands of dollars in gift cards. She also wired him US$5,000 ($7,500) for plane tickets to

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