“I don’t have anything to hide, so I left my Facebook wide open,” Scar said.His mistake had opened the door to scammers in Pakistan and Nigeria to steal his photos. I’m really ashamed what happen to me, because everybody knows about our relation and everybody knows that we are planning to go [to the Philippines] soon.” Aldrich said the con artist pretended he had been deployed to Afghanistan, posting comments and news clips from the war-torn country.The 39-year-old Filipina waitress working in Lebanon, who asked to remain anonymous, said the man she met on Facebook whom she knew as “Fred” was her first online romance. She sent the money, but grew suspicious when he asked her to send more. “These guys get photos of white military guys and they will make multiple accounts on social media and contact middle-age women from places like the Philippines and try to get money from them,” he said. “She has been in love with the image of me for a while.” Technology expert and Arizona State University engineering professor Braden Allenby said online identity theft and other social media scams will target the current generation of military personnel just like the stereotypical, fast-talking salesman targeted previous generations.There’s also a danger that servicemembers might be drawn into compromising situations through online scams that could be exploited by foreign-intelligence services, he said.Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Here’s how it works: The scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims.After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account.They connected and soon enough, the Syracuse resident was getting little requests for favors— he sent a i Tunes card before finding out that the profile is fake.
Ken Scar, a reserve Army staff sergeant, has found more than 120 fake Facebook profiles that combine his photographs with various false identities.Their advice: be suspicious if: The Army believes these scammers may be based in Africa, and they use cyber cafes, so they're untraceable.Victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars, with very little chance of getting it back.Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake.They ask you to: Did you know you can do an image search of your love interest’s photo in your favorite search engine?