Sometimes the third party is real and sometimes they are fictitious as well.
The scammer keeps the victim believing that they are sincere, until they are able to build up enough rapport to ask for thousands of dollars to help bring the gold into the victim's country.
Also because military public relations often posts information on soldiers without mentioning their families or personal lives.
Images are stolen from sites by organized internet crime gangs often operating out of Nigeria or Ghana.
The merchandise is returned to the vendors, the pro-dater and the various accomplices pocket their respective cut of the take.
As the pro-dater is eager to date again, the next date is immediately set up with the next wealthy foreigner.